An Eye on Our Environment Turning the Tide After the Floods
Tuesday 8th May 2018 @ 15:36 by Tom Greggan
Community Mossley & Saddleworth Tameside

In the second instalment of our new monthly column, the Environment Agency’s Area Director for Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire, Lee Rawlinson, takes a closer look at the environment. This month, Lee talks about turning the tide after last year’s floods.

Lee Rawlinson

As I write this month’s column, spring is in the air. It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we saw the ‘Beast from the East’ and subsequent rain battering the North West!

This got me thinking about the unexpected floods that once again struck our region last year. It has been seven months since flash flooding, caused by a culvert overwhelmed by two days of torrential rain, hit the Micklehurst Road area of Mossley.

What struck me the most during the flooding was the community spirit. People were concerned about their homes, their possessions but everywhere we looked, we saw support and response. It is this solidarity in the face of an incident that makes me proud to be from Manchester. All of us here at the Environment Agency have the motivation to keep on repairing, preparing and protecting to make Greater Manchester as resilient as                                                                                                            we can to future floods.

However, recovering after a flood can be a long, drawn-out process and in Micklehurst Road, the situation is complex and challenging. We invested in a £1m repair programme following the floods but the drainage in the area, made up of a number of different watercourses, meant we needed to conduct an in-depth survey to ensure we had a full understanding of risks before starting any construction.

Since then, our team on the ground have been hard at work. In the last seven months we have completed the repair work to the major area of the culvert in front of the garage down to Newbridge View. The void here was up to 1.2 meters deep and 30,000 litres of concrete was used to fill it! We have also started reconstructing the footpath and created a new access chamber in front of the garages to make any future maintenance much easier.

Debris clearance in Newbridge View.

Work is now progressing in Newbridge View where we are moving some 200 tonnes of rock and debris which is currently blocking the culvert from Newbridge View to the canal. During this stage of the work, our teams will access the manhole within Micklehurst Road near the junction with Audley Street and some traffic management will be required to ensure everyone’s safety.

As always with any work we carry out, we are still highly conscious of any environmental impact and we are in the process of reinstating the gardens of residents affected by the culvert repairs as well as replanting trees removed during construction. We have also reviewed how we can work alongside the community by holding public drop-in sessions and listening to what the residents have had to say.

It has been fantastic to see so many members of the community join us at these sessions and give our area team the chance to provide project updates, help them with recovery and ensure that they are protected as much as possible again before this winter. It’s always advisable though to have your own flood action plan as we can help reduce the risk but you can’t ever eliminate it.

For the residents of Mossley who may be reading this column, the best news may be to say that we are currently on track to meet our target of completing all planned repair works this summer!

To me, that seems like a perfect way to sign off for this month. I look forward to sharing more of our activities in and around Tameside with you all in June.

Lee Rawlinson is the Area Director for the Environment Agency’s Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire region. You can get more information about the work of the Environment Agency or what’s going on in your area by following them on Twitter @EnvAgencyNW.