Mansfield 'couldn't cope' under heavy rains, says flood report

The aftermath of the floods left Ladybrook Lane damaged and manholes open. (Image courtesy Richard Martin)
The aftermath of the floods left Ladybrook Lane damaged and manholes open. (Image courtesy Richard Martin)

A council probe into why parts of Mansfield flooded in the summer  has found drainage system couldn’t cope under extreme rainfall.

Nottinghamshire County Council has completed an investigation into the handling of the floods and found authorities including the fire service and Severn Trent Water acted well to alleviate the crisis.

Phil Thomas has had a flood-proof door put in since the rains in June.

Phil Thomas has had a flood-proof door put in since the rains in June.

‘Significant’ rains caused flooding in the Ladybrook area, with more than 64mm of rain in 24 hours causing damage to homes in eight different areas.

Pools of water accumulated around drains and a river of water flooded down towards Mansfield town centre, causing internal damage to 17 properties.

Residents described watching in shock as a river of water caused damage to the roads and cars were stranded.

Susan Savage, 53, of Lake Street, said: “It was awful, I remember the roads were brought up and clumps of concrete were floating around, bins taken down the street, people were abandoning their cars.”

Eve Deakin, 24, had to wait for her new home to be repaired before she could move in.

Eve Deakin, 24, had to wait for her new home to be repaired before she could move in.

The council’s report found that ‘all risk management authorities undertook their duties effectively’ after highways staff repaired water damage to the road surfaces.

Meanwhile, Severn Trent investigated hydraulic operations and the standards of public sewers, known to have come under significant strain during the rains.

The report concludes: “The extreme rainfall events of June 10, 2016, led to surface water runoff that was far in excess of what the systems have been designed to cope with.

“It is evident from investigating the flood that there is no single cause in terms of a failure of the established drainage systems other than those of nature.”

Thomas Fell has been installing his own flood protection measures after his house was swept with water.

Thomas Fell has been installing his own flood protection measures after his house was swept with water.

County councillor for Mansfield South Stephen Garner said: “What we had in June last year was varying storms and the reason they got water in the houses was due to the gullies.

“Water rushed down Ladybrook and ripped the roads up.

“The grates are often blocked so it’s going to run down the road and that’s when you get pools of water.”

Neighbours tell of damage after flooding hit Ladybrook

Newsagents Alka and Kal Bhatt remember when the area was hit by rains and said authorities weren't quick enough to act.

Newsagents Alka and Kal Bhatt remember when the area was hit by rains and said authorities weren't quick enough to act.

Alka Bhatt, 51, who runs a newsagent in Ladybrook precinct, said floods are rare, but when heavy rain hits there is always damage. She added: “It was terrible, torrential rain. It took the council ages to do anything. We weren’t hit badly but the Turning Point shop has been hit twice by floods and now no-one will take it on.”

Eve Deakin, 24, of Edlington Road, said: “We moved in in October and we were supposed to move in earlier but because there was so much work it put us behind. They had to change all the flooring down stairs and we had a new flood-resistant door put in. We’re on the hill so if there’s any rain it tends to accumulate. We get concerned if there’s heavy rain.”

Phil Thomas, 49, of Edlington Road runs a bird hire business. He said: “It flooded the house and went across the room. It’s not deep but it’s enough to take the carpets and the laminate and it goes up the walls. The council put in a new door so we’ve got a bit more protection.

“It’s a hydraulic problem - the main sewers are not big enough and the other streets have all got got bigger bores so they're fine. Whenever we get a heavy downpour the system can’t cope."

Thomas Fell, 67, a retired woodworker, said after the last flood he is putting in flood protection around his front garden. He said: “You see it accumulate around the drains, it builds up and then comes through the wall. I’ve been digging my garden and filling it with stones to act as a soak. This has cost me over £1,000 – I had a new laminate floor put in and it had to be pulled up.”

Floods hit 17 homes due to surface water runoff and extreme rains

Houses were flooded where the rainfall naturally concentrates along flow paths or low points and was further exacerbated by the increased number of impermeable surfaces directing the water off high grounds more quickly, said the report.

It stated: “Mansfield experienced 64mm of rain in a 24 hour period and as a result of this, parts of Mansfield suffered major flooding with 17 properties internally flooded as well as roads and car parks affected. The quickly developing and unusual nature of the weather conditions on the day made forecasting and preparing for the event difficult.”

The report concludes: “The extreme rainfall events of the 10th June 2016 led to surface water runoff that was far in excess of what the systems have been designed to cope with. It is evident from investigating the flood that there is no single cause in terms of a failure of the established drainage systems other than those of a natural.”