Flood wall is saved after tree topples during deluge

Repairs to the flood wall on the River Ribble, near Broadgate, which was damaged during December's storms

Repairs to the flood wall on the River Ribble, near Broadgate, which was damaged during December's storms

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A flood wall has been saved after it was damaged by a falling tree in December’s deluge.

The downpours and subsequent flooding from Storm Eva undercut the roots of a large tree next to the River Ribble, causing it to fall into the river and tear out the ground under a flood defence wall, protecting the Broadgate area of Preston.

The site has now been repaired, and teams from Preston Council have been praised for coming to the rescue.

Without the repairs, a United Utilities trunk sewer beneath the foundations of the wall could have been damaged, major pollution could have been created in the river, and there could have been damage to the highway and more utility services including gas, electric and telecoms.

The council offered to help with temporary repairs to assist the Environment Agency, and the team has since under-pinned the wall, filled the void and embankment and removed the majority of the fallen tree.

Cabinet member for environment, Coun Robert Boswell, said: “Thanks to the prompt actions of the council the flood wall, the highway and the utility services have all been saved. This means the Environment Agency or other bodies involved won’t need to undertake temporary works.”

Jim Walker of the Environment Agency, said: “We are very grateful to the council and their staff for the quick action and response to avert a potentially dangerous situation.

“Not only was the tree in danger of being washed away and damaging the gas main immediately down-stream, but the flood wall was at risk of collapsing due to the void, and the sandy ground beneath the wall was beginning to wash away.

“The Environment Agency is currently seeking funding for a permanent repair to be delivered in the longer term.”