Flash flooding leads to questions over drains

Flooding on Bondgate Within. Picture by Courtney Dunn
Flooding on Bondgate Within. Picture by Courtney Dunn

Questions will be asked about the capacity of storm drains in Alnwick after a short period of heavy rainfall led to flash flooding on Friday afternoon.

Certain parts of the town were badly affected with numerous roads under water and stretches partially blocked.

Flooding on Narrowgate. Picture by Linda Patterson.

Flooding on Narrowgate. Picture by Linda Patterson.

Large pools formed at the bottom of both Narrowgate and Wagonway Road, at the junction between Market Street and Bondgate Within and under the Bondgate Tower. The public toilets in the Shambles, below the Northumberland Hall, were also flooded.

Police were on the scene at the war memorial and traffic was directed up Wagonway Road and Prudhoe Street as standing water meant that the B6346 was pretty much impassable for a short period.

Friday’s incident was reminiscent of severe flooding which occurred in the centre of the town on June 28, 2012 – known as Thunder Thursday.

Alnwick mayor Coun Alan Symmonds fears it is becoming an all-too-common occurrence and called for something to be done.

Flooding on Bondgate Within. Picture by James Willoughby

Flooding on Bondgate Within. Picture by James Willoughby

He said: “I was diverted on Friday because of the flooding and I thought ‘here we go again’. It is clearly not ideal that our roads continue to not be able to deal with heavy rain and it would be nice to think it could be looked at by the county council and something done about it.

“On the positive side, council staff did their best and the diversions were ably managed by the police, but it be nice if they didn’t have to come out because we didn’t have a drainage problem.”

Alnwick county councillor Gordon Castle said: “I think it is down to the capacity of the storm drains and I will be asking the question and seeing if we need to be looking at certain parts of the town which often flood, such as the junction with Wagonway Road and on Narrowgate. But I understand that it would require a major revision of the storm-drain capacity.

“That said, the water did clear quite promptly and the roads were clear shortly after the downpour.”