Harlow Council issues statement following overnight flooding

News / Wed 22nd May 2024 at 10:18am

HARLOW Council has issued the following statement this morning following flooding in the town last night and overnight:

Councillor Nicky Purse, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:

“We are aware that several areas of the town have experienced significant flooding due to the heavy rainfall. Our teams worked throughout the night to support residents who have been impacted and continue to do so today. An emergency call was also made to Thames Water late last night due to overflowing drains in many of the most affected areas. 

“Sandbags will continue to be delivered today and we urge any residents affected by flooding to contact us on 01279 446655 or on 01279 446666 out of normal office hours. The heavy rainfall is forecast to continue today and overnight so the situation is being kept under review. 

“We are in contact with Essex Highways and Thames Water as both are responsible for the town’s drainage and we need to ensure that the maintenance of these facilities is prioritised to protect our streets and homes from flooding during heavy rainfall. 

“I would like to thank everyone who continues to support residents and thank Essex Fire Service who helped to clear water from the most affected areas.  

Further flooding advice for residents is as follows:

  • In the event of an emergency or where there is a threat to life, dial 999
  • To report flooding caused by overflowing sewers, call Thames Water on 0800 316 9800
  • To report flooding from local rivers and waterways, call the Environment Agency on 0345 988 1188
  • Where flooding is affecting roads and highways, call Essex County Council on 03456 037 631
  • If you are a Harlow Council tenant who is affected, call Harlow Council on 01279 446655 or 01279 446666 if your call is out of hours
  • Reports relating to overflowing sewers can also be viewed and reported to Thames Water at www.thameswater.co.uk/help/report-a-problem#/view-and-report-problems
  • The latest weather warnings can be found on the Met Office atwww.metoffice.gov.uk/

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36 Comments for Harlow Council issues statement following overnight flooding:

2024-05-22 10:42:21

I don't think that Harlow Council make in absolutely clear that it is Harlow Council who are responsible for BLOCKED DRAINS. You could always follow UK Government advice - https://www.gov.uk/report-blocked-drain

2024-05-22 10:44:32

Dont need sandbags you just need to clear the drains.

2024-05-22 10:48:57

The drain down the side of Tanys Dell school has overflows sewage every time we get substantial rain. Sanitary products and toilet roll everywhere. It has done this for 25-30 years!!! Imagine how much sewage that is. The last time it snowed the entire cycle track turned yellow. Disgusting.

Anthony W
2024-05-22 11:16:03

Drains along Commonside road near Clifton Hatch are always blocked, hasn't caused flooding yet but only a matter of time.

2024-05-22 11:45:39

Sandbags just sticking plaster response.You need to address the root causes .Not just provide phone numbers to make it look like your doing something.This is serious and you need to sort it.

Fact or Fiction
2024-05-22 12:17:52

Wilky - According to their website, Essex Highways deals with surface water drainage on the roads and pavements it is responsible for on the publicly maintainable highway.

Guy Flegman
2024-05-22 12:21:00

This is a bit like posting the number for the fire service when there is an arsonist at large. Just deal with the root cause. Oh and before some idiot starts on about climate change, the UK average rainfall is well within its normal range for the last 150 years, its just our drainage system that has not been maintained or compromised by ill advised developments. As I have said before it is cheaper to maintain the drainage system than it is to deal with the aftermath of not maintaining the drains.

Tim Shaw
2024-05-22 12:39:57

Correct Guy, I suspect the water companies will be asking for more and more now, saw one potentially going to ask to increase bills by 91% over the next 6 years ! Massive downside of privatisation and shareholders taking money out

2024-05-22 12:49:26

What the council need to do is go back to a programme of preventative maintenance and these problems will not exist! I remember as a child back in the 60s and 70s drains being routinely cleaned, houses being painted and the gutters being cleared

2024-05-22 13:15:21

Guy Flegman where did you get "the UK average rainfall is well within its normal range for the last 150 years" from?! The period to March 2024 was the highest 18 month period of rainfall in England since records began in 1836. The second and third highest were also in the 2020s. Water companies of course need to do better to maintain drainage, but to say the rainfall is within the normal historical range is simply incorrect.

2024-05-22 13:30:41

Its not Harlow council that has the contact for drain cleaning, its Essex that should be held responsible. I cant remember the last time a gully sucker came round Harlow.and if your out and see a blocked drain they want to know a postcode. And how many people know it except in their own immediate area. So come on Essex fulfill your obligations

Guy Flegman
2024-05-22 13:49:27

Uk average rainfall is between 400-1400mm. These are uk gov statistics. Though it did get as high as 1500 mm in 1875 ish. Though the overall trend since 1900 is upward it is still well within the accepted range of normal for the uk.

2024-05-22 14:24:21

Sandbags are only any good if forewarned of flooding. I was in the Potter Street area last night, working as community carer and roads flooded so quick as did vulnerable people's homes. If people are unable to walk unassisted then they also unable to be aware of situation until too late. I was soaked through and worried my car was going to flood but my main priority was assisting those who really needed it. I witnessed homes, roads, pavement and cars completely ruined from last nights flooding and no authorities helping anyone or anywhere. So Harlow council putting this statement out now helps absolutely NOBODY!

Nick Gunning
2024-05-22 14:25:20

The junction between Monkswick Road and Mandela Ave is regularly flooded. It was resurfaced under a year ago but the designers seem to have ignored the fact that the storm drains are higher than the road surface, and rainwater doesn't flow uphill! Surely these anomalies should be observed before the work starts! Further, the flooded areas silt up, making them very slippery underfoot for anybody who wades through them.

2024-05-22 15:37:23

It's called passing the buck !!!!. Harlow Council and Essex County Council should be taken to court for failing in there Contract.

John Lewis
2024-05-22 15:56:16

It always floods there Yeah, Harlow council should have sorted this out a long time ago.

Tracy Fischer
2024-05-22 16:15:36

My daughter was one of those thats home got flooded out last night. She is a one parent of 3, she eventually after 3 hours wait was delivered sandbags by the council and that was it! She has tried numerous times to contact them today but the lines always busy . She has lost practically everything that was on the ground floor. I think in this kind of situation a door to door visit from a council member who could help with organising a clean up team etc would be much better than putting out a phone number that's jammed with callers leaving you on hold for hours whilst your trying to rip up carpets!

Geoff Kent
2024-05-22 17:40:13

Highways are responsible for maintaining the highways ,a recent pot hole near accident with a 5.5 inch pot hole/crater on Roydon Road was not enough for them to firstly pay compo for a wrecked tyre and damaged alloy . This pot hole was filled with water which apparently wasn't that important and of no reason for concern . All the water running down this road is only going to make this pot hole bigger as drivers cannot see the depth with all the water . I did point out the actual danger to two wheeled road users ,where there could possibly be a fatality ,fell on deaf ears !! So they can't look after drainage seats and pot holes ,what exactly are they doing and what are we actually paying them for I ask !!

2024-05-22 18:01:20

No flooding on my road, the excess water just filled all the natural reservoires. Sorry I meant pot holes. Its a hell of a jolt on a Motorcycle ,riding in the rain, at night as most are invisible.

Prof. D Parker
2024-05-22 18:16:01

Guy - I'll be that idiot. Averages are not a useful metric when we experience longer dry spells and extreme rainfall. You can ignore or chose not to believe scientific fact if you so wish but you can not deny mathematics.

2024-05-22 19:24:03

Thames Water is responsible for the main rainwater drainage. Essex CC is responsible for the drains leading up to those drains. Harlow CC used to cover it but Essex CC took the contract back and skimped on gully clearing. H.D.C have, yet again, gone beyond their remit to help their residents.

Someone please clear the Drains
2024-05-22 19:30:10

Essex County Council are responsible for the highway drains...The last time I see a gully emptier around my way Tysea Rd/Wharley Hook/Readings/Sakins Croft was 2022..The guy opened the gullies spent about 15 seconds hoovering them out and a quick look down the hole...The drains were marked with red and white dots...Most of the drains were marked as requiring attention and if you look on the Essex Highways own website there are numerous drains it that area are blocked and require clearing properly (The same defect logs appear so I presume nothing has been done in 2 years or more). 90% of the drains in Tysea Road down from Commonside Rd don't take away any water so it just runs downhill as a river in the roadway. Also there are a large amount of blocked drains shown along Southern Way which probably doesn't help as this is where 1 of the larger runaway drains is located. These problems have been highlighted for years however the Essex Highways webpage states " Repairs will be carried in an unspecified time frame" in other words never. Its about time Harlow Council and our MP pressed Essex to get its act in order and deliver the services we pay for. Prevention is better than cure. The website also shows that the drains should have a yearly inspection. Firstly when did you last see a gully cleaner in your neighbourhood...Secondly if the drains aren't repaired when found to be faulty and if they are inspected yearly means Essex Highways (Sorry We) are just paying for the same faulty drains to be inspected year after year with nothing being done PLEASE FIX THE DRAINS...I do note that there is planned works in the Tysea Road area however that just appears to be a quick tosh over of the road surface with a slurry seal. Hopefully the area will be inspected afterwards just to make sure they haven't blocked the last remaining drains that do work.

2024-05-22 20:39:55

Even better idea. Let's develop land historically used as flood plains (along A414 & Harlow North) . More and more housing, roads, industrial development but no thought as to where all the "run off" water will go. Oh! Let's just connect another 1200 houses to preexisting drains and hope for the best.

2024-05-22 22:39:12

Guys, you are not seeing the plan, the potholes are being used as Micro reservoirs

2024-05-22 23:11:38

Tony l notice there is no comments from council members when old Harlow was flooded councilers turned up a week later promising to look into it l wonder if they are going to turn up next week in all the areas that got flooded you can blame global warning all you want but between the waterboad and no proper maintenance from both council the problem is only going to get worse l think all the people that got flooded should get together and take the lot off them to court mybe in theses sort off classes we shured be more like America and just keep sueing till they get the message l feel so sorry for the people who got flooded this is why l don't want to live in Harlow no more and l was born hear its a??? Hole

2024-05-22 23:15:29

and don't get me started on pot holes 👀🤮😭🤐🤫

2024-05-23 00:20:02

They should make note of the area that is flooded and put drains there. That along with proper maintenance of original drains should help solve the problems long term. Hopefully…

Mark Gough
2024-05-23 01:27:01

I have said numerous times on this forum, and in my Election leaflet, that it is time someone at Harlow Council grew a backbone and stood up to Essex CC for their utter incompetence and failure to provide our town with the service we pay for in our Council Tax. We collect the Council tax here in Harlow, and then send Essex, the Police and the Fire Service their share. Out of every £100 we collect, £71 goes to Essex. It's time to keep that money in Harlow safest until they at Essex provide that service. Fill in our potholed roads, make sure our drains and gutters are cleaned out, repair our pavements, fund our education and social services properly, and give us a decent bus service. Then, and only then, will we give you your money! You never know, money talks, and it just might work!!! I'm truly sorry to those who have suffered in these floods. Mark Gough -Leader Harlow UKIP.

2024-05-23 02:06:34

Remember the time when inspectors were sent out on bikes, pot holes were filled in daily and drains were dredged! All by the Harlow council sited on Edinburgh Way. It seems that Essex council couldn't give a hoot about towns and roads outside of Chelmsford!

2024-05-23 06:12:38

Dan Swords and Co can you really not see what is happening?Please note Tony's comment 2024-05-22 20:39:55.Green spaces around buildings are ESSENTIAL.With your agenda to turn harlow into a mini city harlow will be in crisis.And you need to speak to the powers that be and fix THE ROOT CAUSE of drainage problems.Of course you won't,people will be subjected to misery,regular flooding of homes and streets with water and raw sewage until they eventually snap and take you lot to court.For God's sake DO SOMETHING.Please write to YH explaining what the council are going to do about this as a matter of urgency.Thank you.

2024-05-23 06:22:33

A couple of years ago after torrential rain the brook at the side of my mums house was very high. My mum who has mobility issues was told when she called that they no longer provide sandbags. She was told to call B&Q to check if they had some and then to go down there and collect them!

Jennifer Steadman
2024-05-23 07:38:01

It's ok, let's just keep on building and surrounding Harlow with more and more 'villages' without supporting & improving the drainage infrastructure. Turn a blind eye to the fact that Harlow IS AT RISK OF SEVERE FLOODING....but so long as the developers complete their plans.... it doesnt really matter....we dont matter!! New homes should not be built without proper measures & infrastructure for flood prevention, drainage, roads, schools, medical services etc.. to existing surrounding towns & properties. Who will be compensating the people who's property has been damaged due to flooding? Will anyone accept responsibility? Drains in Harlow are notoriously blocked. The new road drain grids in Gilden park are so large & wide that when I recently attended a duckling rescue, the ducklings had fallen into the drain & it was full of litter including drink cans! So many road drains in town are cracked, broken or sunken in so litter, soil, grass & weeds are free to fall in & grow!! I ride my bike around & town & photograph them & report them!!

2024-05-23 17:03:28

The problem with dealing with the drains is the Essex County Council responsibility so cost money. Floods in houses/property is an insurance claim so no cost to the Essex County Council who dont have much money.

Withhold payment to Essex CC
2024-05-23 18:32:57

Where is the statement from Essex County Council about the flooding and their plan for dealing with it.?

2024-05-24 06:12:21

Are Harlow Council able to set up several emergency contact numbers for tenants when flooding etc happens again?Going by comments people couldn't get through as number given was constantly engaged.Also letters sent to people giving advice what to do while waiting for help etc.Not everyone is online.Heartwarming to hear of people helping each other.

2024-05-24 11:00:07

Looking at the map provided by Essex CC most of the northern side of the town is at high risk of flooding, this will also affect other areas because they drain to the River Valley and the Thames trunk sewer on that side of town. When the raised road crossing barrier going along the bottom of the River Valley from Pye Corner to River Way (called the Eastern Crossing) is installed, even the engineers that hggt pfp employed as consultants predicted that the Eastern Crossing would cause more flooding in Harlow, yet Harlow Council still approved the planning application. The problems will be made still worse because all sewage and surface water from the Gilston estate development (once called Harlow North) will drain into the same Stort River Valley and Thames trunk sewer. Add to that the overspill of untreated sewage from Harlow directly into the Stort will continue. Essex and Thames water may fail to clear the drains but it's Harlow Conservative Council that voted through the Eastern Crossing and the reduction of the essential protection of Harlow by destroying flood plain at the Central crossing. As Climate change progresses matters can only get worse.

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