Maghull – Flooding – When the Environment Agency turned down volunteers

Quite a number of years ago, I suppose it must have been around the turn of the last Century, Maghull Town Council (then Lib Dem run) held a number of meetings with the Environment Agency about flooding. This was when the Lib Dems were warning about ‘climate change’ at a time when the Environment Agency line was that once in a hundred years events should be treated as such.

Of course this was well before the terrible flooding of Maghull’s Fouracres in 2012 and the events of Boxing day 2015 but it was clear back then that Maghull would be facing serious flooding issues in the future.

I raise this again now following a chat with my old chum and former Maghull councillor Cliff Mainey because it was Cliff who reminded me what had happened back then.

You see what had slipped my mind was that during those discussions it had been suggested by councillors that volunteers should be trained up who would know where to go to clear blockages in water courses in the event of very heavy rain.

Cliff, a retired Fireman, tells me that the Environment Agency rejected this idea. Now roll on to Boxing Day 2015.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day 2015.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day 2015.

At one specific spot the debris brought down Whinney Brook in the raging water blocked the grid/grill at the start of the culvert that takes this stream under Liverpool Road South at the Meadows shops. I photoed the consequences of this blockage and published those shots on Boxing day and reproduce them today. However, what I did not know was that the emergency services did not seemingly have this grid/grill within their emergency plan for flooding in Maghull so did not check it for a blockage until the water had back-flowed under Northway to flood the section of Hall Lane from the A59 to Old Hall Road.

Hall Lane, Maghull between the A59 and Old hall Road

Hall Lane, Maghull between the A59 and Old Hall Road.

This explains why the fireman that I saw clearing the debris from the grill/grid told me that he had seen the water level fall by 3ft after he had cleared it.

It was for this very sort of flooding scenario that Lib Dem Maghull Town Councillors had suggested that it appoint and train volunteers with local knowledge to help combat flooding problems all those years ago and as, I say, the Environment Agency poured cold water on the idea!

It strikes me that if they had been appointed and trained the grid/grill on Whinney Brook would have been kept clear and the water may well not have back-flowed up Whinney Brook.

I wonder how the Environment Agency feel about the matter now?

Addendum posted later on 24th January 2016 – How odd, I have just seen last week’s edition of the Aintree & Maghull Champion where there’s an article very much along these lines in terms of Maghull Town Council trying to get something similar up and running! I wrote this posting about 10 days ago and had no idea that MTC had been working up a new initiative some 16 or more years since Cliff Mainey had been thwarted the first time around. What an odd coincidence.

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