Wainfleet flooding: Hundreds of homes evacuated in Lincolnshire as RAF shores up flood defences

‘We’re working hard to get residents to safety and monitor the River Steeping,’ police say

Adam Forrest@adamtomforrest
Saturday 15 June 2019 18:00
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RAF drafted in after widespread heavy flooding in Lincolnshire

Almost 700 homes have been evacuated in the Lincolnshire town of Wainfleet following severe flooding.

After the area was hit with more than two months’ of rain in just two days, the Environment Agency said water levels on the River Steeping remained high and local authorities had taken the decision “to evacuate the highest risk areas and the most vulnerable”.

Although residents from 100 homes were moved in recent days, a Lincolnshire Police spokesperson told The Independent that the evacuation of another 580 properties was necessary on Saturday.

The force tweeted a map of the areas where inhabitants should “self-evacuate” to friends, family or an emergency centre set up at a school in nearby Skegness.

The RAF helped to drop 270 bags of gravel to fill a significant breach in the River Steeping on Friday after it first burst its banks earlier this week.

The City of Lincoln Council said military helicopters would return after repairs on the banks of the river had begun to deteriorate. “The RAF has deployed a Chinook to drop further ballast to shore up the repair,” the local authority said.

Floodwater caused further difficulty when it entered a local pumping station on Saturday afternoon. The police warned people in the area not to fly drones as emergency and flood prevention efforts took place.

“We’re working hard to get residents to safety and monitor the River Steeping with a helicopter. Any drone usage could seriously impede this work,” the force said.

Some 16 flood warnings and 36 flood alerts were in place on Saturday afternoon, with the majority across the midlands and northwest.

A landslip near Corby, Northamptonshire, stopped an East Midlands Train from London to Nottingham on Thursday and saw a second train which went to rescue them also become stuck.

Around 400 passengers were stranded for up to eight hours before being evacuated, and one person was treated at the scene in an ambulance by paramedics. The train operator apologised to the customers involved in the incident, calling it a “challenging situation”.

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Showers are expected over the weekend but conditions are due to settle down, temperatures are anticipated to rise and no further weather warnings have been issued, the Met Office said.

Warmer air building over Europe will see higher temperatures in parts of the southeast next week, with the potential of sunny spells hitting the mid-20s.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said that, despite the current treacherous conditions, June 2012 remained the wettest on record with 5.9in.

“Although we are at a point where some areas have seen their full amounts of monthly rain, so far we don’t think we’re on track to beat the 2012 record as a wet June,” he said.

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