Report Open Access
Coulthard, T. J.; Frostick, L; Hardcastle, H; Jones, K; Rogers, D; Scott, M; Bankoff, G
Findings (see Chapter 9 - Page 61 - for full findings)
• Over 8600 households (20 000 people) were affected by the June 25th 2007 floods. Of these 6 300 people were forced to live in temporary accommodation with over 1 400 people in caravans.
• The people of Hull showed extraordinary levels of goodwill, comradeship and willingness to help neighbours during the floods. • Schools were especially badly hit, with only 8 out of 99 schools unaffected. The closure of schools can have a large social and economic effect, forcing parents to take time off work, lose earnings and in some cases jobs.
• We found a series of serious issues with the design, maintenance and operation of Yorkshire Waters pumped drainage system in Hull.
• At Bransholme, where a pumping station failed, Yorkshire Water were warned in 1996 and 2001 about its poor condition. Yorkshire Water was unable to confirm that any action was taken in light of these reports.
• For East and West Hull, Yorkshire Water reports indicate that £200 million Humbercare modernisation works (2001) had significantly reduced the systems capacity from a 1 in 30 year storm event to 1 in 1 to 1 in 2 years. Permanent solutions were suggested in 2004 and 2006, but a temporary fix was implemented in 2007 based on re-instated 40 year old pumping stations. During the 2007 floods there were serious operational issues with this arrangement.
• The 2007 floods were severe, but as many properties in Hull were only flooded by a few centimetres we conclude that had the recommendations for Bransholme (1996 and 2001) and the rest of Hull (2004 and 2006) been followed, then some properties in Hull would not have flooded.
• Yorkshire Water is regulated by Ofwat and we noted concerns that Ofwat has limited powers to control water utilities over the levels of flood defence in drainage systems.
Recommendations (see chapter 10 for full recommendations)
• Mandatory standards for flood protection in drainage systems must be set • The regulatory powers of Ofwat over drainage systems must be reviewed
• Detailed information about the performance and operation of water utilities’ drainage systems should be in the public domain. Their operation and regulation must be transparent.
• The Government should consider underwriting flood risk, or seek possible alternatives to the ‘statement of principles’ arrangement between insurers.
• Building regulations could be changed to increase building flood resilience in flood risk areas
• Extra protection should be given to key social infrastructure. Schools for example could be described as ‘social power stations’ warranting defence.
• Emergency planning for pluvial flooding should be undertaken by all regional and local authorities
• Formal and accountable cross agency cooperation and coordination must be implemented
• An awareness campaign is required to inform residents, in flood plain areas, of the level of risks they face and the measures open to them to reduce these