To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what checks are in place to prevent flooding in Northwich town centre during winter 2021-22.
19 November 2021
Following October 2019 flooding and Storm Christoph in January 2021, flood risk authorities across Cheshire including the Environment Agency (EA), Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWCC) and United Utilities committed to reducing flood risk in Northwich. The three organisations have been working together to address recommendations from the October 2019 Section 19 report published by CWCC to make the community in Northwich more resilient to future storm events.
The partnership prepared a joint emergency plan covering pre-flood and emergency response checks so that efforts are even more coordinated than for previous events. Pumping contingencies put in place following the October 2019 flooding are being enhanced to cope with a Storm Christoph sized event, and funding has been committed from all organisations in this partnership to develop these and other winter readiness measures. The partnership aims to look at longer term solutions to address flood risk in Northwich using a coordinated and strategic approach to take account of the future impacts of climate change and develop more sustainable solutions going forward.
The EA re-checked all of the outfalls to the river in the town centre to ensure non-return valves are fitted and are working as they should. The EA conducted pre-winter testing of the demountable flood barrier defences in Northwich on 7 November 2021 and confirmed they are functioning correctly and that the road closures and operational procedures all go smoothly when called upon.