Environment Agency to hold Egremont community drop-in

THE Environment Agency is holding a community drop in event in Egremont to share with residents’ and business owners plans to reduce flood risk from the Skirting and Whangs Beck in the town.

An outline design for the Skirting and Whangs Beck Flood Risk Management Scheme has been developed by the Environment Agency, and will be on display at the Falcon Club, Egremont on today (Monday, November 6) 3pm to 8pm.

Both Skirting Beck and Whangs Beck in Egremont are a source of flood risk and most recently in 2012 affected 45 properties.

On October 11, 2017 Skirting Beck overtopped at West Lakes Academy into the sports field, then onto the adjacent footpath to the rear of Church View. Environment Agency Field Team Operatives successfully controlled the flow route by directing water back into the watercourse downstream using sandbags.

Since 2012 the Environment Agency, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council have been working together to better understand the flood risk from Skirting and Whangs Beck to deliver an integrated flood risk management scheme. Cumbria County Council have already installed some short term flood measures to guide water away from properties to areas that can be flooded without risk to properties.

This work has proved to be successful on several occasions for smaller flood events, and now the Environment Agency are planning a more robust long term scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to Egremont.

The community drop-in on 6 November follows on from a session in March 2015 to discuss possible options in Egremont. Feedback from the 2015 meeting has been used to develop the business case.

The measures proposed within the business case will reduce flood risk for approximately 200 residential and commercial properties.

Work will include building three flood storage areas, increasing the size of the channels and culverts, installing new trash screens and improving drainage through surface water flow routing measures.

To help warn and inform local residents in the interim period prior to scheme completion, the Environment Agency have also installed a new rain gauge and river level telemetry at key sites in the Skirting and Whangs Beck catchments.

A new flood warning service has also been developed, which will provide advanced warning of possible flooding.

The community will be able to talk to Environment Agency staff about the scheme, see what it would look like, how it will work and timescale for the construction at the drop-in event.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “I’m delighted that this project is progressing so well. It is a credit to the partner organisations who have been working tirelessly on this scheme that a flood management proposal has now come forward that could provide a major long-term boost to those at risk of flooding in the Egremont area.

“I’d urge everyone to attend the drop-in on November 6 to find out more about the scheme.”