Anotherclose callfor flood-hitcommunity

Mark Branagan

FLOOD victims in a Yorkshire market town yesterday renewed their calls for defences after the local beck came within a couple of feet of flooding homes again.

Pickering beck is likely to swamp properties at 1.2 metres above normal levels and the Environment Agency issues a warning when the beck rises to one metre.

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As snow melted, the Environment Agency said between Saturday night and Sunday morning the beck rose to 0.95 metres – not enough to trigger a warning.

But Howard Keal, spokesman for Pickering Flood Defence Group, said: “Pickering had a very close call on Saturday night with the river bursting its banks and water lapping at the gates of homes in the town.

“This is the second time in a matter of weeks that there’s been a danger of serious flooding and underlines the need for defences to be put in place.

“Work is being carried out on a scheme for upstream storage and it is a matter of urgency that funding is provided for the project by the Government, Defra and the Environment Agency.”

Mr Keal praised Ryedale Council staff who were on the scene late on Saturday night providing sandbags and helping people move furniture.

He added that water levels were close to a level “that would have resulted in serious damage to properties following heavy rain falling on deep snow on the moors. It is only a matter of time before Pickering’s luck runs out.”