£1million project to reverse damage of Surrey floods on River Wey

The Environment Agency has said the clear-up will reduce the flood risk in the area in the future

The Environment Agency has received £1million to start work reversing the damage of the winter’s floods on the River Wey.

During the flooding the river experienced some of the highest flows in 15 years, due to the large amount of rain that fell, which resulted in it being the wettest winter recorded across the south east.

Nearly 60mm poured down on December 23 in the Cranleigh area, which led to more than 160 properties being flooded in the Guildford and Godalming areas.

Due to the high water flows, the river carried a large amount of sand, and as it receded this settled around bridges and within the channel of the river and the floodplain.

In some areas this reduced the channel width and the storms made the situation worse as large numbers of trees fell down.

The EA’s funding will allow it to start removing the trees and clearing areas where the sand has built up, with the work being carried out over the summer.

Initially this work will be focused between Guildford and Godalming, with the second phase moving downstream of Guildford and upstream of Godalming near to Elstead and Tilford.

Flood risk manager Ian Tomes, said: “Rivers across the south east saw widespread flooding during the wettest winter ever recorded.

“Our teams have worked around the clock over the past few months inspecting and clearing blockages.

“We have been busy inspecting rivers, repairing damaged banks and maintaining flood defences to ensure they continue to protect people.

“It is excellent news that we have received the funding to enable us to restore the channel capacity of the river by removing fallen trees and areas where sand has built up.

“This will help in a small way to reduce flood risk to the area.”

Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Cllr Robert Knowles, said: “During the period of extreme weather earlier this year our teams worked resolutely to support residents affected by the flooding and also on the very significant clean-up operation after the floods.

“It is gratifying that the government has now recognised that flooding is a serious issue in our area and has sought to provide funding for this project.

“Any measures that can be put in place to help to reduce the risk of flooding in our area are very welcome and I am delighted for Waverley residents that the Environment Agency has been granted funding to undertake this very important work.“

Work will start along the River Wey in July.

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About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
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