Long road to recovery after flooding during last winter

Pauperhaugh Bridge.
Pauperhaugh Bridge.

Almost a year since storms and flooding caused millions of pounds worth of damage in Northumberland, repair work is still continuing.

Storm Desmond last December marked the start of two months of severe weather in the county, which left 214 homes and 94 businesses flooded, 30 bridges and 98 roads damaged and caused 17 landslips. Since then, the county council and its partners have been working tirelessly to support residents and ensure roads and paths damaged during the storms have been brought back into use.

Shortly after the storms subsided, the council secured £14.6million in government funding towards its £24million repair bill to deliver a wide programme of repairs. So far, 31 out of 85 schemes have been completed, including major repairs to the bridge at Pauperhaugh.

The council has also supported around £750,000 investment in measures to better protect properties and cleaned out more than 7,500 gullies and removed more than 200 tonnes of silt.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, said: “Almost a year after the terrible weather wreaked havoc in our county, we find ourselves well on course to restoring the infrastructure which was so badly damaged.

“I think the fact we still have more than 50 engineering schemes still outstanding shows the scale of the damage caused last winter and we have had to prioritise a number of projects.

“However, we realise that all the schemes are important to local communities and I would like to thank all the staff, both from the council and from partner organisations, who have worked tirelessly to get the county back on its feet.

“And what many people don’t see, but is equally important, is all the work that has gone on behind the scenes in securing funding for affected communities, both private residents and businesses, to allow their properties to be repaired and in many cases to be better protected against future flooding.”