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Flood Protection: Morpeth, Northumberland

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CLIENT

Northumberland Blind Association

THE PROBLEM

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.

 

THE SOLUTION

Pringle Building Services Ltd, the North East Approved Contractors for UK Flood Barriers Ltd, installed 20 Flood Angel air brick replacements, [to replace missing weep vents], two Flood Angel mainline full port backflow valves and three bespoke Flood Angel flood defender barriers designed to offer protection to the front main entrance, the boiler house and the patio doors leading into the Sensory Garden at the rear of the building. Repointing of flood damaged mortar joints completed the protection measures.

Extreme care had to be taken during installation of the barriers to ensure no disruption to the day to day operations of the well used building and detailed design input was required to eliminate potential trip hazards to visually impaired staff and visitors.

Finally we have flood protection installed! As a registered charity supporting blind and partially sighted people, the impact on our Resource Centre following the Morpeth floods of 2008 were devastating. Unfortunately due to limited resources, priority could not be given to flood barrier installation until end of 2011.

Pringle Building Services did an absolutely fantastic job. Following consultation together with UK Flood Barriers, custom made flood barriers and brackets, air bricks and non return valves to the drainage systems were installed with no disruption to services, visitors to the resource centre or the staff team.

The installation team were courteous, methodical, and empathetic to the need for minimum disruption and noise levels and even installed a storage system designed simply from a discussion. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone, although I hope we never again encounter a situation that requires the defences to be used!

Lorraine Dryden
Chief Executive, Northumberland County Blind Association

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