CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has confirmed that it will launch an investigation into the floods that occurred in Northwich two weeks ago.

The decision was revealed in a report read out by Leftwich councillor Andrew Cooper at Tuesday’s Northwich Town Council meeting.

A full report will be published after consultation with the Environment Agency and United Utilities once the investigation is complete.

At the meeting, Cllr Cooper said: “On behalf of Cllr Naylor and myself, I wrote to CWAC chief executive Andrew Lewis and asked the Council to take the lead in a multi-agency investigation into the causes of the flood, what we can learn from it and what we can do better for the future.

“We need an investigation to establish the facts and to get to the root causes, as it may have been several aggravating factors, so that we can try to prevent a reoccurrence.

“CWAC has subsequently confirmed that it will be undertaking such an investigation as part of its duty under the Flood and Water Management Act.

“I also continue to pursue the possibility of significant tree-planting on the Dane Valley adjacent to the new development to try to lower the water table, reduce the speed of surface water run-off and reduce the volume of water reaching the town centre.”

Northwich Guardian:

Cllr Andrew Cooper

During the meeting, Cllr Cooper revealed how Northwich’s flood defences are deployed in three phases, depending on forecast severity, and all three were utilised during the recent flooding.

“Things first started to go wrong on Saturday afternoon, when water started rising out of the drains on London Road, and with river levels continuing to rise, the decision was taken to deploy the third flood defence phase ,” he said.

“This involved closing London Road and blocking the Danebridge with a further demountable defence, allowing the river to overtop the bridge without spilling into the Bull Ring.

“As water continued to spread out of the drains and with the concern that the floating pontoon mooring might capsize, a decision was taken to evacuate house-boats on Northwich Quay, although a few chose to stay behind.”

River levels started to recede on Sunday, with house-boat residents able to return by Monday afternoon.

Cllr Cooper also praised the ‘heroes’ of the flooding, who worked non-stop throughout the weekend to reverse the tide of the flood water.

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“Environment Agency staff were on site round the clock from the first deployment of the defences on Friday evening to when the last flood gate was re-opened and continued to be active around town checking levels and following up with people affected.

“CWAC’s Emergency Planning team, the fire service, the Red Cross and the police were also brilliant, undertaking the difficult evacuation of the boats in the early hours of Sunday morning, and making sure that everyone’s needs were attended to.

“All deserve our thanks.”

In closing, he added: “It is an inevitable fact that our major broadcasters tend only to visit a town like ours when something like this occurs.

“We must and will continue to do all we can to help businesses recover, and to promote our town so that we give them a reason to visit to report our not just our tragedies but our achievements.”