New defences in flood risk fight

Trainer Chris Wilde (left) from Aqua Dam Europe demonstrating one of six small flood relief pumps to resident Chris Spreadborough and Tony Ganderton (right) with Alex Back, BCC's Strategic Flood Management Officer.

Trainer Chris Wilde (left) from Aqua Dam Europe demonstrating one of six small flood relief pumps to resident Chris Spreadborough and Tony Ganderton (right) with Alex Back, BCC's Strategic Flood Management Officer.

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Residents affected by devastating flooding have been trained how to use state-of-the-art new defence equipment which was delivered this week.

The Willows Estate in Aylesbury was inundated with water in February 2014, with 80 homes flooded and even more having to be protected from the deluge.

Since the incident, which was caused by a blocked brook at the end of the estate, DEFRA put up grant money to help protect the homes.

The money was given on an individual basis, but residents have clubbed together to form a committee to use the £245,000 to buy two lines of defence which they can use themselves.

On Tuesday the residents, and operatives from Transport for Bucks and Aylesbury Town Council were trained in how to activate the defences, one of which is half a mile long.

Both Watergate and Aquadam defences can shift the equivalent of 120 bathtubs of water every minute.

Chris Spreadborough, whose garden was flooded during the 2014 incident, said: “These flood barriers are only a temporary measure. But we have been able to acquire this because of our campaign.

“We do need something more permanent but now the first step is in place.

“The flooding in2014 was awful, but the upside was it did bring the community together.

“We were all filling sandbags for each other.

“The support from councillors Steven Lambert and Mike Smith was superb, they did everything that they could to help us.”

Steven Lambert said: “Everyone more tha pulled their weight to to work together to reach a good solution.

“Permanent flood defences would have been prohibitively expensive, but I belive we have got the best emergency defences for the money available.”