Reader's Letter: Another 'once in 200-years flood'

This morning traffic passing Royal London on Alderley Road was faced with the fourth "once in 200 years" flooding event since July.

Once again water was cascading onto Alderley Road out of the woodland and driveway on the Royal London site; presumably the new, un-needed empty offices will be built on rafts?

The attached selection of photos show a gentleman, who walks to work from Alderley to Sainsbury's every day, padding down the "shallows" in the centre of the road - and dodging some rather inconsiderate drivers; only a couple stopped to let him pass.

Another shows a United Utilities double water tanker, on its way to pump water somewhere else and one shows the actual level of the Whitehall Brook at the bridge.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Sunday 10th November 2019 at 7:59 am
This is just the norm now. We have waterways that can’t naturally cope with what is now expected rainfall and highway maintenance on minimal budgets the result is predictable.
Jean Berman
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 4:14 pm
Maybe if Cheshire East instructed the waterways to clean the gutters and grids frequently ie twice a month and looked at the weather forecast they could clean them once a week
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 5:01 pm
In order to correct the headline it isn't a once in 200 years event it is a 1 in 200 chance that an event of that magnitude will occur in a given year or the flood exceedance probably.

The UK is experiencing more severe weather because of climate change and as a result of this there are and will be more frequent events of higher magnitude.
Ade Whitaker
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 5:07 pm
I agree with @Jean - we need a step change in the frequency of storm drains and gutter maintenance from October to December. It's a false economy not cleaning them - as the roads and pot holes deteriorate more quickly when they are under water. We really need some better governance on climate change at all levels. Is anyone at any level of government doing any kind of planning for the future - which, with climate change, is clearly going to be a lot more challenging? We might even need some sort of a climate tax to invest and prepare for the uncertain future. There are lots of simple things that could be implemented at a local level to help drainage - e.g. rules around preserving front gardens, preserving green belt land etc.
David Smith
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 5:44 pm
The drains aren't big enough to cope.
This time of year the leaves fall from the trees - surprise, surprise!
The gutters get full of wet leaves because there are too many cars parked along them and prevent cleaning vehicles sweeping them up - assuming one might pop along sometime within the next 100 years. I'm beginning to think Cheshire East has equipment and cleaning solutions that are also 1 in 100-year events to match the floods. Wouldn't be too bad if they were in synchronisation.
Historically the council takes until mid-summer to clear the roads and empty the grids of leaves - even if they bother to do it once every 5 years. By then it’s too late and also twice the effort because the leaves have become heavy and stuck to the road.
I passed this flood two days ago and saw a worker pathetically and poking a pole into one of the grids, more with hope than expectation and presumably trying to 'free' some of what was blocking it up.
Save £1 today and spend £7 later on.
Doesn't the council have an in-house 'Dyno-Rod' department?
Peter Davenport
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 8:49 pm
Dear All
What is interesting with the floods on Alderley Road, is not the flood, but the fact that there is large tanker belonging to United Utilities.
What your readers do not realise that the tanker was probably empty and was returning to one sewage farm of another the collect whatever to dispose of in another one ie Davyhulme, Knutsford or Alderley.
When daily getting the daily paper at the Shell station on Dean Row, I see a large double tanker transporting sewage or whatever one calls it daily going to another one, as mentioned above. This has been going on for quite a few years, which indicates to me that the Prestbury one cannot cope.
Re this I was given a puerile answer, that there was a small pump problem, some 3 years ago.
Living on Adlinton road, I see daily quite a few empty tankers returning.
Peter Davenport
Janet Edwards
Thursday 14th November 2019 at 10:12 pm
One problem with keeping the drains and grids clear is that the local authority, CEC, is responsible for clearing debris from the grids but the local water company, United Utilities, is responsible for cleaning out the drains. The chances of these two operations coinciding must be negligible so we never achieve completely clear grids and drains.
Also, autumn is the wettest season in the UK so maximum rainfall coincides with leaf-fall blocking the gutters and grids. It would be helpful if CEC could carry out road-cleaning during the autumn to minimise the amount of surface water building up on roads during extended rainfall, but we're lucky if we see them even once a year. That is just not enough along roads with numerous trees.