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Victims of flooding in Hayle appeal for Environmental Agency to take action over river

By CMKirsteSmith  |  Posted: February 16, 2016

  • June and her family with some of the ruined furniture from the flood

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A FAMILY from Hayle are appealing for the Environmental Agency to take action after a river overflowed and destroyed a 75-year-old woman's home.

June Wicks, who lives on Philgray Close watched a flood destroy her home and possessions in just 10 minutes.

June's home flooded on January 31 after the river at the back of her garden started to overflow and covered her entire garden and continued to rise.

The overflowing river water was then joined by sewage which was coming out of the manhole cover also in her garden.

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June and her family are now appealing for the Environmental Agency to come out and see why the river caused the flooding.

June said: "They river needs to get sorted out. I am worried that it could happen again and I could lose everything all over again."

Work has currently started to dry out June's home. Wendy Heale, June's daughter, said: "The insurance company are out, South West Water came out within hours to check the pipes under the garden were clear but we have heard nothing back from the Environmental Agency.

The river could be the Council's or it could be the Environmental Agency's river, someone has to own it and we just want it sorted out."

June and her family have been receiving many offers from local businesses and residents to help.

Wendy said: "We have had so many offers from people to come and help. We have had texts and messages over Facebook and even people, who I have never met before, have asked if they can do anything. One man from Liskeard even offered to come down to help with my mum's garden.

"It's so nice to have this support and we want to thank everyone who has offered but we have to wait for the insurance company to do their part first."

Paul Gainey, from the Environment Agency, said: "We took a visit to the steam and noted that there were many obstructions across the watercourse as well as a surcharged culvert beneath a footpath. Local people reported that the culvert was in poor condition.

"The situation is further complicated because where the watercourse discharges into the Angarrack Stream the Environment Agencies predecessors, pumping station built in about 1981, installed a pump at Marsh Lane to over-pump flow which cannot gravitate into the Angarrack stream during times of high level. We have continued to maintain this pumping station since its construction using our permissive powers as the pumping station is within 7m of the main river.

"During the flood events of this year our telemetry and staff visiting the site confirmed the pump was working correctly. As a further precaution, our engineers also visited the site on several occasions over the weekend to ensure that it was functioning correctly.

"The stream which runs through Philgray Close has 'Ordinary Watercourse' designation and as such does not fall within our remit – unlike the Angarrack River. Consequently we do not have formal authority to undertake work on it. Any issues received regarding its condition or maintenance would be forwarded to Cornwall Council who have permissive powers on this minor watercourse."

A spokesperson from Cornwall Council said: "The Council will be investigating further and will liaise with the EA and with the owners of the affected properties to understand the problem and to see if there is anything that can be done to improve the situation."


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