Croston needs more work to protect it from flooding as Storm Ciara hits

A supermarket van in the floods on Carvers Brow
A supermarket van in the floods on Carvers Brow

Croston’s £7m flood defence scheme has been hailed a saviour in the wake of Storm Ciara.

However, a call has been made for urgent multi-agency talks to take place after the village suffered a number of flooding problems at the weekend.

While the scheme has been widely praised, its setting level has been questioned, and concerns remain about further flooding in Croston due to other issues.

Kath Almond, chairman of the Lower Yarrow Flood Action Group (LYFAG), said; “The flood barrier is working, but we are still being flooded, and where the flooding is coming from, whether the barrier is set at the wrong level, we don’t know.

“But now we need to look at all the culverts into the river beyond the dam.”

She said the village becomes cut off when flooding occurs.

“Nobody can get in our out of the village,” she said.

“I think Lancashire County Council’s highways, United Utilities and the Environment Agency need to look at all the culverts and tributaries and we’d like a drone that looked at the village at its height yesterday (Sunday) which was 12 noon to see how we can avert this.”

She said she was aware of only three houses being flooded due to the storm, however the waters also affected garages, basements and outbuildings.

However, she highlighted two culverts which she believed were the source of the problems.

One near Croston Park Nursing home on Town Road and the other at Carvers Brow.

“No ambulance or vehicles could get into the care home which is not good,” she said. “On Carvers Brow there’s eight houses marooned there, so if they need an ambulance . . .”Kath added: “We’re hoping to have a meeting very shortly. We were going to have one after the September flood in 2019. That was four months ago.”

Anne Peet, chairman of Croston Parish Council, said: “The river didn’t flood, it doesn’t flood because it’s got a defence system on it.

“The problem that remains is what happens with all the surface water and that hasn’t been resolved fully.

“The flood defence works very well - with that we would have been in a very dire situation, no doubt about it. We would have had much more severe problems.

“The general concern, it’s all the little brooks that run into the river and the river stops them from entering.” The Croston Flood Risk Management Scheme, developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Chorley Council, Lancashire County Council and United Utilities, and in collaboration with the Lower Yarrow Flood Action Group, was officially opened in July, 2017.

It has benefited residents who suffered flooding on Boxing Day 2015, when 344 properties were affected. In 2012, 30 properties in Croston village flooded.

The scheme, which includes an upstream flood storage area on the River Yarrow and 600m earth embankment is capable of retaining up to 1.3 million m3 of water – equivalent to 520 Olympic size swimming pools.