Hundreds of homes have been saved in a rural borough village after a new £7 million flood defence system was properly tested for the first time.
Some 240 homes in Croston, badly affected by the 2015 floods, were saved the same hardship over the weekend after the village’s new flood defence dam stood firm.
The River Yarrow burst its banks on Sunday due to torrential rainfall, with a reading on Monday morning revealing the river level had reached 1.3 metres – around 4ft 2 ins.
“240 homes is how many homes were flooded on Boxing Day in 2015,” said Kath Almond, chairman of the Lower Yarrow Flood Action Group.
Kath, who also sits on Croston Parish Council, added: “The dam has saved these houses from being flooded again.
"There’s still flood water run-off in the village, my garage has been flooded, but no homes. It’s a huge relief.”
Highfield Road was closed due to flooding between Liverpool Road and Moor Road, sparking concern from residents and business owners.
But the Environment Agency confirmed there were no reports of flooded properties.
A spokesman said: “This weekend the Croston Flood risk Management Scheme has operated for the first significant rainfall event since it was opened in 2018.
"Designed to improve flood protection to more than 400 properties in Croston it has filled to a significant depth over the weekend, and as river levels fall it continues to empty.
“While water did cover some roads, neither the Environment Agency nor the local Flood Action Group have received any reports of flooded properties.”
“We were just relieved to know it worked because it was the first time it was tested by weather like this,” said Kath.
“It’s also still in operation because of the high volume of water coming down from Chorley. It’s kept the river at a very high level but at a level with no flooding.
“Up until now I was 99 per cent certain it would work – now it’s 100.”
• Residents can sign up for flood warnings by visiting www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings