Easterton villagers call for better protection from floods
3:13pm Friday 14th February 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Easterton Parish Council is calling for action after the High Street flooded for the fourth time in the past six weeks.
In the latest incident about three homes next to the High Street were flooded in the early hours of last Friday.
Firefighters from Devizes pumped out water from the garden of one house where flood water had started to breach the front door. Photographs taken during flooding on January 4 show the water was about a foot deep.
Parish council chairman Chris Saunders said the flooding is caused by water running off surrounding farmland and the situation has been exacerbated by silt building up in Easterton Brook.
He said until 2006 the stream was regularly de-silted by Kennet District Council but he claims nothing has been done since.
The parish council established a flood working group about three years ago and is working with Wiltshire Council and the Environment Agency to mitigate the repeated flooding of the High Street and surrounding properties.
This has resulted in an early warning system of flooding and residents whose properties are at risk of flooding have been given barriers to cover the bottom of their doors to act as flood defences.
Mr Saunders said the frequency of flooding was a concern to villagers.
He said: “People are anxious and we have people who have seen the water getting near their doors when they would not normally be affected.
"The parish council will continue to work with all interested parties to reduce the amount of silt entering the stream and to find ways of reducing the amount of flood water reaching the centre of the village, but it does require a more substantive engagement by Wiltshire Council, the Environment Agency and central government.”
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We understand how devastating flooding can be and we have been working with the parish council and the Environment Agency through the local flood working group to minimise the flood risk in Easterton.
“In 2012, the Environment Agency funded individual property protection and we worked with the parish council to get these installed. Once the flooding has subsided we will revisit the situation to see what can be done.”