Houses at risk as water rises
Updated 9:26am Monday 6th January 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
HOMES in Wroughton were submerged on Saturday as water from a nearby reservoir threatened to engulf the area.
Residents off Baker’s Road awoke to find their neighbourhood had become a lake, as a failure in the drainage system left a stream dumping its water into their gardens.
They claim the problem has been going on since the nearby Overton reservoir came out of the management of Thames Water, and flood measures put in place years ago were not completed.
Alan Woodward, 52, and wife Holly, 53, tried to divert the water away from their home when they discovered it up to 2ft deep and seeping into their garage.
“What was really worrying was it was coming through the wall, so we were out there digging channels to divert it,” said Alan.
A flood relief pipe was built in the area seven years ago, but has often failed to cope with the amount of water falling on the area.
“A lot of work has been done here, costing tens of thousands of pounds, but it wasn’t completed properly, and has left us exposed,” said Alan.
“We have had the Environment Agency and Thames Water out but they say it’s not their problem.
“There is a tiny gap where the whole river has to try to get through, and because we are at the lowest point we are the ones who get flooded out.
“This is the fourth time we have been flooded recently. It happened once on Christmas Eve and has been three times so far this week. It only needs a millimetre or two of rain and we get everything off the hillside.
“We have only been here a year but apparently it has been going on for a long time. So far we have been trying to deal with it ourselves, but this is the final straw.
“It is a solvable problem. There are a lot of contributing factors, but we have too much water entering this river.
“You could understand if this was just a freak occurrence of nature, but there are obviously problems and nobody wants to take responsibility.
“We are the ones who suffer the damage when it gets too much.”
Chris Fleming has been living in the area for years and he said this is the first major problem in a long time.
“The stream runs down from the Overton reservoir,” he said. “It used to be maintained by Thames Water years ago, but they do not run it anymore for their water supply.
“That means there is no capacity to take on extra water when there is rainfall, because the reservoir is always full.
“But we haven’t had a major problem for seven years.
A fire appliance was dispatched at 9am and six firefighters remained throughout the day to pump the water away from homes.
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