River Alt – Everything drains into around these parts

Following all the heavy rain of recent days it’s sadly no surprise that the River Alt is struggling to to deal with all the water flowing into it from the land and other drainage brooks, streams and ditches. In turn this means flood alerts for parts of Maghull as the river water rises.

The first shot below was taken yesterday from the aqueduct which takes the Leeds Liverpool Canal over the Alt near to Aintree Village:-

Just back towards Melling there’s a runoff for the canal to keep it’s levels down and I could see it was in use. I’m guessing that this runoff also goes, eventually, into the River Alt.

The second shot below was also taken yesterday where the A59 (Northway) crosses the Alt in Maghull:-

Then we move on to today and the consequential flooding of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Village boundary. Here the Alt flows under Bridges Lane and this is how it looks:-

At face value the river looks to be coping until you move a little further east along Bridge Lane to where Dovers Brook is crossed by Bridges Ln/Sefton Ln. It looks like this:-

The first shot is looking north with the adjacent houses on Sefton Lane* clearly visible. The second shot looks like the Dovers Brook has been halted by a stone wall but in fact it’s the bridge under Sefton Ln where the arch of it has been covered by the floodwaters. The houses here are being affected as is sadly often the case when Dovers Brook backs up.

My understanding is that the Alt being so high stops Dovers Brook from emptying into it, hence the backing up. Although there’s nothing new about this problem (I recall Sefton Ln flooding here when I was a lad living on the Lane in the 1960’s /1970’s) it’s all the more frustrating that after many years the problem has not been resolved. You have to feel for the residents of this isolated row of houses and elsewhere along Dovers Brook when it over-tops.

With more rain anticipated tomorrow, well I don’t need to say any more do I………

*Sefton Ln/Bridges Ln has already been closed during the present foul weather although it was passable this afternoon. However, this is what it looked like in December 2015 when the section of road between Dovers Brook and the River Alt was a river in itself:-

A flooded Bridges Lane between Dovers Brook and the River Alt – when it all got too much in December 2015

Flooding – Why do new houses keep getting built in flood risk areas

www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/25/mps-to-debate-planning-bill-to-protect-homes-from-surface-flooding

The Guardian has the story – see link above

This is a very important issue yet for reason that do not bear close examination more and more new homes seem to be getting built in flood risk areas.

The Maghull area flooding pressure points

The Maghull area flooding pressure points

Only yesterday in conversation I heard of a Maghull family refused flood risk insurance due to the location of their property. This particular property seems to be caught up in the concerns about the River Alt and Dovers Brook over-topping problems at times of very heavy rain.

With thanks to my research assistant Roy Connell

Maghull Flooding – I have just been interviewed by Radio Merseyside

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Stood in a muddy field next to Dovers Brook with it tippling down, that’s where I was interviewed by Radio Merseyside journalist Mike Perkins as storm Frank was hitting Maghull today.

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane on Boxing Day 2015.

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane on Boxing Day 2015.

Thankfully at noon today the River Alt was not high and neither was Dovers Brook unlike Boxing Day when Maghull was hit by flooding.

Not sure what parts of the interview Radio Merseyside will use but I made comment on the low lying nature of Sefton and how much of it is prone to flooding at times of heavy prolonged rain.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day.

I also explained how Whinney Brook flows into Dovers Brook which in turn flows into the River Alt and how when the Alt is too high the process starts to work in reverse causing flooding for parts of western Maghull.

Having lived in Sefton Lane as a lad and teenager I recalled how flooding took place near Dovers Brook back then but that it has got far worse in recent years with 2012 being the worst flooding event.

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane - The houses were about to be inundated on 26th December 2015.

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane – The houses were about to be inundated on 26th December 2015.

We also discussed the work the Environment Agency is doing on the Alt to create food zones in fields north east of Lunt and how this almost replicates what used to happen a 100 years ago when the Meadows around the Alt would flood each winter. In very cold weather it would provide a place for folk to ice skate.

Monsoon Maghull – Boxing day flooding – more shots of the misery caused by heavy rain

Not a winter wonderland on Boxing Day - outside Sefton Meadows Garden Centre.

Not a winter wonderland on Boxing Day – outside Sefton Meadows Garden Centre.

A59 Northway/Dover Road/Liverpool Road South Junction.

A59 Northway/Dover Road/Liverpool Road South Junction.

The pedestrian bridge over Dovers Brook became a river itself.

The pedestrian bridge over Dovers Brook became a river itself.

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane

Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane

Making waves in Sefton Lane.

Making waves in Sefton Lane.

Cop car goes for a paddle at The Meadows

Cop car goes for a paddle at The Meadows

Maghull & Lydiate – Flooding hits on Boxing Day

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane - The houses were about to be inundated.

Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane – The houses were about to be inundated.

Maghull & Lydiate have today been suffering from flooding following the torrential rain that has been hitting northern England recently.

The following photos document the scene across the joint communities between 11 am and noon today:-

Hall Lane, Maghull

Hall Lane, Maghull

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker clearing debris from Whinney Brook.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook. He told me the level had dropped by 3ft as he cleared it.

Lambshear Lane, Lydiate

Lambshear Lane, Lydiate

Moss Lane, Lydiate

Moss Lane, Lydiate

A swollen River Alt as it just about manages to duck under Bridges Lane near Sefton Village.

A swollen River Alt as it just about manages to duck under Bridges Lane near Sefton Village.

Sefton Lane, Maghull

Sefton Lane, Maghull

A raging Whinney Brook at Ormonde Drive, Maghull

A raging Whinney Brook at Ormonde Drive, Maghull

The worrying issue here is the capacity of the River Alt to take all the flood water from Whinney Brook, Dovers Brook etc. In 2012 it could not take all the water and houses were inundated in Fouracres, Maghull. At the time I took the photos Fouracres was not being flooded. The next few hours will probably be crucial.

With thoughts for all those being flooded or in danger of it.

Confluence of River Alt & Dovers Brook – Maghull

I have commented before about the problems Dovers Brook causes when it can’t empty out into the River Alt at their confluence just to the north of Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Civil Parish Boundary.

I have now tracked down a clear photo which I took a while ago, that illustrates the problem well:-

rsz_confluence

Dovers Brook is to the left and the River Alt to the Right. Dovers Brook backs up when the River Alt has no more capacity to take additional water. The consequences were sadly felt by residents in Fouracres and Sefton Lane the last time this happened in September 2012.

The plan being developed by the Environment Agency will see fields flooded to the east of Lunt and Homer Green when such situations occur in the future I am told.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/