Andrew Percy MP

Andrew Percy MP

Member of Parliament for Brigg & Goole and the Isle of Axholme

Lower Aire Flood Management Update

Andrew recently met with the Environment Agency regarding the ongoing investigations and works into the 2020 floods in Snaith and East Cowick. Andrew has mailed out an update to residents on the latest actions as per the below -

Dear Resident(s),

Following on from my update of a few months ago, I thought residents might appreciate a further update on the ongoing work to respond to the flooding event of 2020. Whilst this was some time ago now, I can assure residents that I have continued to push the relevant agencies on the important issue of improving flood resilience in the Lower Aire catchment.

I have recently met with the Environment Agency (EA) for a further update and to challenge them on the commitments made to residents following the floods of 2020. Below is an update which I hope you will find informative.

Modelling Work

As I have made clear in previous updates, central to any future works is the modelling work which has been taking place over the past couple of years on the 70 miles of river channels, flood defence banks and the washlands in the Lower Aire. This vital work will show in considerable detail how the catchment works, what impact climate change will have on future levels in the catchment and provide the baseline for future actions to manage the catchment. It is essential to provide the evidence for future investment.

I am pleased to report that after several delays – which I have expressed frustration with – the modelling is now complete and has been provided to the East Riding Council for their independent verification, as required by their independent Section 19 report into the 2020 flooding. Once they have completed this, the EA and East Riding Council will issue a joint statement on the results of the modelling. This is expected shortly.

As I have said above, this modelling provides the evidence for potential future works or changes to the catchment which could include additional outfalls, changes to pumping station arrangements, better management of willows/tree growth, improvements to low spots on the defences, changes to manage any exceedance and overall improved management of the washlands.

New Snaith Outfall and Pumping Infrastructure

Despite the modelling work taking longer than expected, other schemes have been taking place to improve the situation in the meantime. In my last update, I explained that the EA had identified three locations in the Lower Aire catchment, including Snaith Ings, to provide more permanent pumping infrastructure. These hard standings would allow external pumps to be deployed if required.

Additionally, the EA have also identified the need for a new outfall on the Snaith Ings to ensure that the washlands can drain better. This is part of a wider body of work that has been looking at managing the washlands better, ensuring they can be drained more efficiently to provide improved resilience and capacity when required.

Whilst work on two of the hard standings for pumps is underway or about to commence, the decision has been taken to combine the works on a new outfall on Snaith Ings with the work on the new pumping infrastructure on Snaith Ings. I am happy to report that the project for the Snaith Ings is now fully approved and is being funded by the government’s grant-in-aid funding to the EA.

This c£1.5 million project for the Snaith Ings will commence next year and will see the pumping infrastructure and new outfall constructed at the same time.

Improved Maintenance

The issue of maintenance is one that is often raised with me by residents, farmers, and Internal Drainage Boards. The EA inform me that they are committed to improving maintenance along the Lower Aire and work is on-going to provide a further programme of maintenance in the coming years. This is sensible as better maintenance will hopefully lead to better management of the flood risk and improved resilience.

This has been a very long process, but I hope that residents will appreciate that work has been underway even as we waited for the modelling works. Until I step down as our MP at the next election, I can assure residents that I will continue to push all the agencies responsible for managing our flood risk.

There will be further updates in the coming weeks from the EA and the East Riding and I will continue to keep residents updated too.

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