The Northumberland market town of Morpeth suffered its worst flooding on record on the 6th of September 2008 with around 1,000 properties being affected. This was the result of two days of intense localised rainfall in the catchment area of the River Wansbeck when over 80mm of rain fell in a single 24-hour period. This was undoubtedly an exceptional event and the equivalent to about a month’s average expected rainfall for the town.
Reiver House, the headquarters of the Northumberland Blind Association was inundated by rapid catastrophic flooding after the river’s floodwalls overtopped. The building, which is on a flood plain, was flooded to height of about 2 metres with contaminated water including raw sewage, river and surface water.
Lorraine Dryden, director of the Northumberland Blind Association contacted UK Flood Barriers Ltd in January 2011 and an initial survey of the property was carried out identifying potential floodwater ingress routes into the building and suggestions made on how the building could be made more resistant to future flood events.