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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Floods leave concerns on defences
Boscastle. Picture: Phil Russell
Some defences were unable to cope. Picture: Phil Russell
Flood-hit Cornish village Boscastle is clearing up amid concerns over the condition of defence schemes built following a deluge in 2004.

Some villagers claimed that culverts and storm drains were not sufficient to cope with the rain that raised water levels to 2ft on Thursday.

The Environment Agency launched a 4.5m flood defence scheme in response to the 2004 floods.

And it said those defences, still under construction, helped stop more damage.

In 2004 an estimated 440 million gallons of flood water poured through the historic village, devastating many buildings and washing vehicles into the harbour and beyond.

Boscastle river (picture by Hedley Venning)

On Thursday surface water raced down Boscastle's steep streets to flood about 12 houses and businesses, some of them to a depth of about 3ft.

A number of local people questioned the ability of the village's drainage system to cope with the water.

Shelley Barratt said pipes taking water from the Paradise Stream into Boscastle had not been made larger as part of the improvement works.

That meant that they were liable to become blocked, forcing water over the road.

Shopkeeper Peter Dixon said: "The major problem has been surface water from the top of the village and the drains have just not coped with it."

'Pass safely'

Businessman Chris Dawe from Boscastle Gallery - affected by about a foot of water - said there seemed to be insufficient drainage and surface water "had nowhere to go".

Gordon Trapmore, of the Environment Agency, said the problems could have been much worse without their efforts.

"We have spent about 1m on the River Jordan, we plan to spend a total of about 4.5m in Boscastle and that work is almost complete.

"That has certainly worked and allowed the flood to pass safely."

Former parish council chairman George Findlay, a member of the local regeneration committee, said drainage work to be carried out over the next six months would hopefully alleviate most of the problems.

Mr Findlay called on local people to take action when heavy rain fell.

"The soil here is stony, and debris can get washed down to block drains.

"People have got to look after themselves as well as expect others to do so.

"It only takes a boot across a drain to keep it clear."

Matt McTaggart, Cornwall County Council's executive member for strategic planning and transport, said: "I take on board everyone's concerns and will look seriously into the situation, making North Cornwall and Boscastle high on my priorities.

"We are working with the Environment Agency and North Cornwall District Council to see if anything can be done."

About 12 houses and businesses were flooded

Another 3m is still due to be spent on flood defences

Village flood defence put to test
22 Jun 07 |  Cornwall
Boscastle on alert after flooding
22 Jun 07 |  Cornwall
Pumps approved for flood scheme
24 Oct 06 |  Cornwall
Boscastle gets 4.5m flood scheme
13 Sep 06 |  Cornwall
Boscastle's mixed recovery
18 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Village 'unlikely' to flood again
16 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Dozens rescued from flash floods
17 Aug 04 |  Cornwall


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