Call for increased spending after huge cost of flood damage in Lincolnshire revealed

Flooded bungalow on Scothern Lane in Langworth following Storm Babet
-Credit: (Image: Mike Herbert)

Damage caused by bad weather across Lincolnshire over the past year will cost £45 million to repair, according to the Environment Agency. Over the past 12 months, the county has experienced multiple storms like Babet last October which brought roughly two months' worth of rainfall in just 24 hours, and Storm Henk the following January.

Babet, arguably the most damaging storm, left multiple communities flooded. Horncastle was particularly badly affected, with more than 200 properties impacted.

Residents in the village of Fiskerton, just outside of Lincoln, were told to evacuate their homes after the banks of the River Witham were breached. Although residents were able to return a few days later, the river bank was damaged once again in February after heavy snow and rainfall swept across the country, leading to the flooding of nearby paddocks in Short Ferry.

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During a Flood & Water Management Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday, June 24, county councillor Ian Fleetwood noted that he had been told the damage to the river bank would be fixed by Christmas. However, the Environment Agency could not confirm this.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: "We are currently working with our framework contractors to develop the plan for repairing the asset in Fiskerton. Once we have a timescale, we will communicate with relevant stakeholders.

"In the meantime, we are continuing localised monitoring to ensure we can detect any increase in risk early and will work with partners to take action accordingly."

The Environment Agency has so far secured approximately £16 million in funding from within their existing capital budget to repair the damage caused by poor weather. They believe this will allow them to complete 23 repairs by March 2025.

"We are continuing to work closely with our partners to ensure the best possible response with the resources available," the spokesperson continued.

Councillor Colin Davie, portfolio holder for economic development, environment, and planning, recently shared his hope that the new government will urgently address the issue of flooding across the county. He said: "Any new government is going to have to prioritise in a much greater way strategic investment into infrastructure related to flood management.

"It is no longer acceptable that we can spend tens of billions of pounds investing in green technologies if we don’t address the outcomes of weather impacts and climate change that are happening today. We need a greater investment into this area than any government has previously made, and at the moment I can’t see where the commitment to this investment is coming from across the political spectrum."