The River Colne’s levels continued to rise towards the end of last week causing significant disruption on our transport network, especially at Bushey Arches and Water Lane, and of course Bushey Mill Lane and Wiggenhall road which were both also affected among others.
Thank you to all of the constituents who have been in touch with me on this be it to report new problems or suggest ideas for improvements, it has all been very much appreciated. I fully accept the point made by many that these areas and junctions have always flooded historically and it may be that whatever we do, when we see rain as serious as we have last week, the worst for over 250 years, some flooded is to be expected in Watford – especially at places such as Water Lane.
That said there are things which we can do to manage the situation better which may include dredging the River Colne more frequently, making sure drains are cleared quickly where they do become blocked, ensuring individual advice is available for people and properties we know are likely to be affected, and ensuring there is proper communication and flood warnings and potential road closures. It is these measures I want to make sure are properly considered moving forward, as we have to be prepared if we face similar problems in the future. Yesterday in Parliament I asked the Secretary of State for Communities:
“What plans do the Government have to provide an assessment of local authorities’ plans for flood prevention in the years to come, particularly asking Hertfordshire what plans it has to stop the River Colne flooding and causing disruption to my constituents.”
The Minister responded and has agreed to take a personal interest in the River Colne and what actions are taken in Watford which I will make sure is properly followed up.
As of last night (10th Feb 2014) the flood warning was lifted, but given the rainfall predictions this may not last. To receive flood alerts or keep update you can register here: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.