Tuesday, 24 April 2012

River Levels

With the large amounts of rain we experienced over the weekend the Fossdyke and the River Witham both rose dramatically. The Fossdyke rose over eight inches in just a few hours. This from a navigation that rarely fluctuates by more than an inch at a time and is exceptionally well managed by the EA.

With such a rapid rise in water levels the EA were quickly on the case to shut the marina flood gates, protecting the residential and commercial properties and also the many boats from the still rising flood waters. Even with the gates shut the levels continued to rise for a short while due to the surface water runoff into the lakes. With the water levels in the marina complex now protected the panic was off for the residents.

The boats out on the river were not quite so lucky. With most of the moorings between Lincoln and Torksey being fixed bollards, the water levels quickly broke the banks leaving the moorings underwater and the moored boats at risk of floating over the banks. The navigation through the Glory Hole was shut to boats due to the vast amount of water being sluiced away from the city to prevent flooding. This has had effects further downstream with the Witham well above normal levels. With the river flowing over the lock gates at Boston and freely flowing out to sea, effectively making the lower reaches temporarily tidal again. Not a common occurrence by any means.

With plenty more rain forecast for this week the situation doesn’t look like it will get much better any time soon. On Sunday night the level of the Fossdyke was lowered by some eight inches, so by Monday morning was nearing normal water levels again. However this water has to go somewhere and right now that somewhere is Boston or the Trent. Both of which are extremely high at the moment and won’t be benefiting from the heavy rainfall.

We should have predicted that this would happen. After all, the county has been declared in drought and there are hosepipe bans in place. Floods were bound to follow these announcements. Unfortunately with the intensity of the rain most of it has just washed off of the fields and straight into the rivers so it won’t have made much difference to the depleted reservoir levels in the area. Maybe we could pipe them some of our Yorkshire water. Here in Sheffield the local reservoirs are all full to brimming or over flowing.

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