Now that the surface flood water has soaked away, it is worth noting that Canvey island was not the only area hit by the rain storm on Saturday the 24th of August.
However through our work monitoring the process of the Borough’s new Local Plan, the Canvey Green Belt Campaign note the work Scott Wilson have completed for CPBC in the form of the Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) document.
Scott Wilson were limited in their work by the historic evidence of flooding supplied by the Castle Point Officers.
Apparently Canvey Island has suffered just these recorded flooding incidents:
“ 28th February 2010 Canvey Island 2 flood records (Fire Records) source unknown,
18th January 2011 3 records of flooding in Canvey Island. Flooding due to heavy rainfall (Echo Newspaper). ”
I think that most residents will recognise this as being suspect evidence.
The document goes onto explain that due to that flat open nature of Canvey Island, it is not liable to flood from rainfall.
This in a document noted by CPBC Cabinet and added to the Local Plan Evidence base.
Statements taken from the SWMP document read:
“ Surface water flood risk in Canvey Island is largely assoicated with failure of the managed (and pumped) drainage network during high intensity rainfall events.
The historical flood records suggest many of the surface water flooding incidents recorded are exacerbated by inadequate maintenance of drainage systems and ordinary watercourses. ”
We are warned by those accepting the effects of Global warming, that hot drier summers can be expected and that these will be accompanied by heavy rainfall events.
It is not surprising that after this fairly long dry summer that the ground would struggle to absorb the heavy rainfall that fell during much of Saturday.
That there was debris in the channels feeding flood water to the pumping stations is maybe a question of a lack of routine maintenance.
What cannot be disputed is that the constant urbanisation of Canvey Island does not bode well for the future.
Anybody attempting to dig holes to erect fence posts will be aware how high the water table is as water enters the hole.
Regularly water drains off of the embankment of the sea wall, flooding the roads, the need to raise the sea defences in the near future will exacerbate the problem.
The plans of the Local Authority to develop Canvey’s Green Belt will reduce the ability of what open green space there is on the Island to cope with the more extreme events we have been warned to expect on a regular basis.