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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Mystery floods lead to misery for family

A PRUDHOE family are seeking answers after three weeks of mystery flooding caused thousands of pounds of damage to their property.

Prudhoe Flood

Since the heavy rain of June 28, water has been gushing out from under the garage and paving at Tara Madine’s Milton Grove home, which she shares with children Patrick (17), Jaime (7) and Joseph (4).

At times, the water has reached around six inches high, pouring down the driveway and swamping the adjoining road.

But despite calling the Environment Agency, Northumberland County Council, Prudhoe Town Council and Northumbrian Water, Tara has been unable to get any action taken on the problem.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do about it,” she said. “I’m not covered by my insurance unless there’s damage to the house as well and I can’t afford to have it fixed.

“The block paving at the back of my home has totally sank down – you can literally lift each brick up – and the paving on my drive has turned green.

“I don’t know if the whole lot could be replaced, but it would probably cost several thousands of pounds to do it.

“It’s so frustrating; I’ve been crying for about two weeks.”

The problem made a brief appearance around nine weeks ago but died down quickly.

Then, while stuck in her car in Gateshead on June 28, she received an alarming call from son Patrick, telling her water was rising rapidly around the back door.

“I got back about two hours later and it was gushing out down the driveway,” she said. “It was coming out from under the garage and the block paving.

“It just stayed like that and, although it’s died down now, I know it will come back if it starts raining again.”

As problems continued, Tara contacted the Environment Agency, but was told the body was not responsible as the floods were not coming from a watercourse.

Northumbrian Water, likewise, told her they were unaware of any fault, while a Northumberland County Council employee suggested the water may be coming from Highfield Park, which is the responsibility of Prudhoe Town Council.

However, clerk Richard Whinney investigated the area several times, finding nothing unusual in either the inspection chambers in the drains or on the land itself.

As extensive work had been carried out on the drainage system there following floods in 2008, he contacted the consultant who had overseen this.

“He said he had examined plans of the work carried out there,” Mr Whinney said. “In his view, there was no evidence of a fault in the drainage at Highfield Park contributing to this.

“There was nothing suggesting a link to Highfield Park or a failure in the work Prudhoe Town Council had carried out.”

Rather, the view of the consultant was that a downstream blockage on Milton Grove was more likely the problem.

However, a Northumberland County Council spokesman said the area is flooding from land which is the responsibility of the town council.

“The county council has carried out work in the past on behalf of the town council to tackle flooding here and even though this is not county council land officers are prepared to work with the town council to try to find a solution,” she said.

A Northumbrian Water spokesman said: “We aren’t aware of any issues with the sewer on Milton Grove but we are in the process of organising a camera survey of the sewer to ensure it is operating properly. ”

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