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River flood frenzy

On 10 Jan 2016 at 5:13pm Pancha wrote:
I'm really shocked with all this heavy rain and flooding In other parts of the Country that there are no scare posts on here. What's happening Lewes?!
On 10 Jan 2016 at 5:22pm Ratty wrote:
They won't make the same mistake again and cause a flood surge by opening the flood gates at Barcombe like they did in 2000 so we're safe.
Lewes won't flood again.
On 10 Jan 2016 at 5:29pm bastian wrote:
we all remember how the events unfolded last time and they haven't happened in the same order yet-the rain then was a months worth in one day, we haven't had that down here.
On 10 Jan 2016 at 6:16pm Bills wrote:
It still could happen !!!!!!!!!!!
On 10 Jan 2016 at 6:22pm Tipex wrote:
I'd trust the environment agency. If they issue a "Flooding might happen" warning then it might happen. If they issue a "Flooding probably will happen" then it probably will. In the meantime I'd relax and assume everything's ok.
On 10 Jan 2016 at 6:50pm John Smith wrote:
It's because at least three things have to happen at once: (1) exceptionally high rainfall, (2) exceptionally high (equinoctial) tide and (3) mismanagement of the flood controls at Barcombe Mills. In 2000 heavy rainfall coincided with a very high autumn tide and the release of the flood gates at Barcombe, supposedly to prevent a farmer's land from flooding. The flood water met the incoming tide at Lewes and the flood was the result.

I must say however that if I were close to the Winterbourne in a low lying area I'd be keeping a very close eye on that - it's now just a few inches below the footpath at the bottom of Rotten Row. And that does flood, although not nearly as catastrophically as the Ouse.
On 11 Jan 2016 at 11:19am foxed by the forum wrote:
Can anyone explain why John Smith's perfectly reasonable entry should have received six thumbs down? Is there a hard core of haters who just thumbs down everything?
On 11 Jan 2016 at 12:50pm Zzz... wrote:
@foxed by the forum.
Don't worry. it's nothing personal. There are some people on the forum who give the thumbs down to any halfway intelligent post. They resent anyone they fear is more intelligent than they are.

Personally I look forward to the day registration is introduced to the Lewes Forum (preferably tied to other social media accounts). When chat facilities force the use of real names (or at least have a single name tied to their posts) the anonymous cowards with no brains and nothing useful to say tend to avoid them.
On 11 Jan 2016 at 1:19pm Dom Ramos wrote:
The Environment Agency have recently said that in the light of increased flooding everywhere they will need to revise assessments across the whole country to expect more, not less flooding. Added to that the insane subsidies going to farmers to not plant trees that absorb 60% more water that would otherwise become run-off- a principle effect of cutting trees down and which leads, in turn, to increased flooding, and you have a situation where blandly expecting everything to stay the same looks a little naive. Having lived here all my life there is also a cyclical max. The 1960 floods were of course much greater than recent ones, but the science (barring human error highlighted above) virtually guarantees this. The Santon development's flood defences are based on old levels of a low estimate for future flooding.
On 12 Jan 2016 at 12:53am lewesplumber wrote:
The reason John's entry was thumbs down was because Lewes will flood again without the "three conditions" blah, blah. The government is allowing more and more building on flood plains, under the condition the houses they build will not flood. So barriers are built (eg. Phoenix Estate). This sends more water downstream.
Less than clever people want to Dredge the rivers, but the rivers; being tidal would allow water to flow in EITHER direction.. So a big Spring tide would send a surge inshore. Combined with a hevy rainfall ...floods.
On 12 Jan 2016 at 1:33pm John Smith wrote:
I don't disagree lewesplumber: part of the problem are the flood prevention schemes which do indeed direct the flood water elsewhere. However that is what the Barcombe Mills flood gates are all about, isn't it - part of a flood prevention scheme. So yes indeed, flood water coming downstream meeting high equinoctial tides coming upstream would cause a flood, and that's what Barcombe Mills is supposed to mitigate. It doesn't work if the flood gates are opened to prevent flooding further upstream which is what I understood had happened, so that a mass of flood water was released and met the incoming tide.

I'm not being complacent in the slightest, and I do think Lewes is at risk in the future as sea levels change and we get increased periods of heavy rainfall. The problem with manmade climate change (which is what the fundamental cause is) is that there aren't any quick fixes, so we seek others such as giant flood barriers. We do have to start taking climate change seriously if we want real long-term solutions.
On 12 Jan 2016 at 11:14pm nevillman wrote:
The blame being laid at barcombe mills floodgates sounds wrong to me. Heavy rain in recent years has overwhelmed any weirs on the Ouse and uck with no flooding in Lewes. The floodgates at barcombe are insignificant. Also people still seem to have the impression that the flood plain is only in Lewes. It is the whole Ouse valley for miles north and south of Lewes. Allowing more flooding in this farmland should allow Lewes to remain flood free with some local flood protection.
On 12 Jan 2016 at 11:16pm lewesplumber wrote:
OK, So John Smith and I agree to some extent. It is not dredging that will solve the problem (though it could help if there was a SEVERE rainfall as the tide was leaving. But the 2000 floods occurred because the tide (big tide) came in, with high onshore winds. So the Sea wanted to come in when the rain wanted to go.
I had heard they Opened the Barcombe floodgates, but then I heard they didn't. It would be useful to know for sure. The speed of the rise would indicate a sudden release from somewhere.
Anyway, If North street is now protected that is a LOT more water that will need to go under our little cliff bridge.
Should we be smart and replace our old bridge now, if it means 1/4 of the town will be helped?
I am just putting it out there...
On 13 Jan 2016 at 12:42am John Smith wrote:
We'll probably never get to the bottom of the Barcombe Mills floodgate story, because whoever did it would have the @rse sued off them. Much the same happened to a friend in London - flood waters suddenly rose two feet in everyone's basements and then disappeared as if a plug had been pulled. The strong rumour was that Thames Water had forgotten to open a storm drain in time, but they were never going to admit it because the damage even in that ten minutes was awful and they'd have had to pay out millions in compensation.

I don't believe that the flood management scheme at Barcombe Mills is anything but effective, because it can stop a mass of flood water hitting the tidal surges. It does however mean that the flood plains must be allowed to flood!

I worry about our little bridge. At least a couple of historic stone bridges have been swept away in northern England, and it would rip the heart out of Lewes to lose ours.
On 14 Jan 2016 at 10:49am Zebedee wrote:
Barcombe Mills has a storm overflow/bypass arrangement channels excess water under the toll bridge into the western channel once the water gets too high but it really only works for a mild flood. Once the road is flooded (a regular occurrence) the water has already worked it's way around the sluice/weir arrangement. Any hope that the complex can work to alleviate flooding in Lewes is misplaced. It really is not possible that the position of the main sluice gates had any effect on the 2001 floods. Any suggestion that it had is just not borne out by the facts.

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