Alan, a friend of ours, sent me a photo of Storm Dennis’ deposit in the Lightwater detention pond alongside Red Road.
We drove past the pond last Sunday, and I noticed it was full. I didn’t remember to take a photo for evidence, so I’m delighted that Alan did, as it has filled since. Here’s his photo.
I found a definition of a detention pond on the internet, one of which we have in Lightwater, as,
Detention ponds temporarily store stormwater runoff, thereby reducing the peak rate of runoff to a stream or storm sewer. They help to prevent localized flooding…
It’s when Lightwater, and other parts of Surrey Heath suffered it’s ground water flooding in 2006 I became interested in flooding locally. I’ve looked at our small detention pond since then. I’ve photos of it being filled a number of times in 2007. Since then, to my knowledge, it hasn’t been filled with water, that is until this year when it has filled four times between early October and late November.
Yesterday I walked by the pond and found it full again. That’ll be five times this year, when for over 10 years it wasn’t needed. There was a case, in one year, when a resident complained about the grass not being cut in the pond, restricting her children’s ability to play in it. Funny how things change.
Here’s the photo of the pond I took yesterday afternoon.
What is a Foosh? It’s the medical shorthand for a Fall on an Outstreched Hand. In my case the fall resulted in broken bones in my wrist.
Most reactions are, firstly sympathy, and then silly boy. I know you’ll be curious as to how it happened. This where the silly boy becomes true. Standing of on the lower step of a badly positioned step ladder, and reaching for Christmas decorations on the top shelf in our garage the ladder went one way and me the other. Result broken bones in my wrist.
One finger typing is annoying, so have been enjoying walks in and around home. Here’s a group of images from my walks.
Re the detention pond. I met a local parish councillor on one walk, and she told me that the inlet and outlet of the detention pond are blockage free, it’s just that the ground is saturated meaning the water takes time to drain away.
Excessive rain has again filled the detention pond off Red Road in Lightwater. That’s the third time in recent months. Prior to this autumn the pond was last full in the summer of 2007. So, this autumn has been particularly wet. To my knowledge, not exhaustive I grant you, there’s been no flooding in Lightwater, since 2007, which is due to the investment in flood alleviation measures. NB: amended – in red – to make my note clearer,
Here’s my photo, taken this afternoon, of the detention pond adjacent to Red Road. I know it rained heavily last night because I was caught out iin it without a trusty umbrella.
The detention pond in Lightwater, alongside Red Road, to hold water during periods of heavy rain remains partially full, which is an indication of the volume of rain we’ve recently experienced.
I photograhed a full detention pond on October 7th this month – see HERE. I disturbed a Grey Heron when taking my photo. Lo and behold, when I took a photo a couple of days ago I disturbed a Grey Heron agin, you might be able to see it on the grass when you expand the photo.
I’m confident there are no fish in the pond, maybe there’s a worm or too. So, I think the Heron would be advised to choose a pond with fish.
Walking home yesterday fom a walk over our local heathland I noticed that the detention pond in Lightwater, near the junction of Lightwater Road and Red Road, was full.
The detention pond fills when the road drainage systems are overloaded in very heavy rain. It must therefore have poured down on Saurday evening. Here’s the evidence.
UPDATE: Checking back the previous time I noticed the was pond filled was in 2007.
I’m worried that I’m tempting fate here, by saying Surrey Heath is well prepared for flood events at this time. Really, I should say the eastern part of Surrey Heath is well prepared, from the map below the River Blackwater and the Blackwater Valley have flood alerts.
Here’s the latest Environment Agency flood warning/alert map for our local area.
Readers here will, I’m sure will know of my keen interest in flood alleviation as Lightwater has in the recent past suffered from flooding. See HERE why its important, and most recent article on the subject HERE, if you’re interested.
I’m somewhat out of date on knowing where the most recent flood alleviation works have occurred, or are planned in the Borough. I’d better do some research. Will tell you what I’ve found.
Sir Phillip Dilley, chairman of the Environment Agency has resigned – see full details HERE.
It seemed to me to be the most likely result from his absence while remaining on holiday during the floods in England prior to Christmas. Here’s part of his stated reasons of resigning,
My reason for resigning is that the expectations of the role have expanded to require the Chairman to be available at short notice throughout the year, irrespective of routine arrangements for deputy and executive cover. In my view this is inappropriate in a part-time non-executive position, and this is something I am unable to deliver.
Furthermore the media scrutiny focused on me is diverting attention from the real issue of helping those whose homes and businesses have flooded, as well as the important matter of delivering a long-term flood defence strategy. This same media attention has also affected and intruded on my immediate family, which I find unacceptable.
Is it possible that one new condition will be added to the job specification – ‘Absence from duty while on agreed holiday is overridden when crises arise, such as floods or similar, then expected to end holiday immediately.’
I don’t mean this in an unkind way, as all floods are bad. Those people whose homes and businesses are flooded generally seek to organisations to blame as a focus of their anger. I know, as I’ve witnessed it.
Some individuals and organisations have has a ‘good’ flood, while others have had a ‘bad’ flood. Here’s my list, by no means exhaustive, and only from watching mainstream media,
- Rory Stewart MP, government floods minister. Faced questions from the media and residents throughout the day of the floods in Cumbria. See more in the Daily Mail, and website HERE.
- Very good flood: visible, knowledgeable, and does help, of course, to be the local MP in an area of extreme flood events which adds a bit passion.
- Lt Col Hamish Cormack, CO of 2 Lancs – The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
- In his Facebook message HERE, saying, “After 4 weeks of back-to-back support to flooding operations across the North of England the Bn is now back to being on standby to support whatever comes next. We have been at the forefront of the response to these unprecedented events, bouncing across the country to meet the next challenge. It has been an incredible experience; operating in the dirt and destruction of the flooding has been exhausting and often challenging but the way …our people have approached it has been nothing short of amazing…..”
- Very good flood: visible, energetic, with terrific support from his battalion.
- Sir Philip Dilley, chairman of the Environment Agency. Chose to remain on a family holiday in Barbados while the Agency struggled to manage to flood situation.
- Very bad flood: Important to be seen, and to meet agency staff at each of the flooded areas.
- Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, government cabinet minister for the environment. Faced questioning from the media and locals in York and Tadcaster.
- Good Flood: As cabinet minister responsible a tough call to face locals whose homes and businesses flooded. Depends on your point of view as to whether she’s had a good or an OK flood. Has promised the replacement of Tadcaster Bridge as a national priority.
- Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn, left visiting flooded areas for 5 days, and footwear not suitable for visiting flooded areas.
- Bad Flood: A difficult role to be critical of government, yet supportive of volunteers. Tough call to visit or stay away – better to visit early in my opinion.
- Pickering, a town in North Yorkshire in a deep valley has avoided flooding through careful and sensible flood mitigation.
- Very Good Flood: to have avoided the floods.
Last week locally we had some very rainy days, not quite deluges, but not far short.
Protection against flooding was probably my enduring concern while I served as a councillor on Surrey Heath Borough Council. [Type flooding in the search box to find the many, many posts on the topic].I’ve spoken before about the impact on me in talking to householders in Lightwater who’s homes were flooded two years running. The borough council’s drainage engineer put a flood protection plan in place and over eight years has ensured year-on-year improvement in that protection. I believe work is ongoing.
In standing down from the council I didn’t want to become a busybody afterward, and so I’ve kept out of local issues. I couldn’t entirely switch off from flood watch. I visited the Lightwater stream and found it very full, but not over-topping its banks. There are reports that some gardens and garages were flooded – though I don’t have the data.
The point of this blog post is to state, in my experience, that investment and actions in local flood protection has been both beneficial and effective.