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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 09:23 GMT
Flood village strengthens defence
Floods at Corbridge
Floodwater covered car parks in Corbridge
Flood defences around a Northumberland village will need to be much bigger than originally planned, according to the Environment Agency.

It launched an investigation after Corbridge was hit by floods last month.

The Agency had planned to use 20,000 tonnes of clay to build up river banks, but 50,000 tonnes will now be needed to maximise protection for residents.

Some trees will also be removed to stop roots destabilising the banks, although more will be planted in the area.

Homes in Corbridge and Haydon Bridge were flooded in heavy rain in the Tyne Valley in January caused by a month's average rain falling in a day.

Best defences

The current flood banks in Corbridge were built in the early 1950s of local silty, sandy soil which is not as strong as the materials used in modern flood alleviation work.

Under the new scheme, the bank width of the River South Tyne, will be widened, low spots filled and a wetland area will be created.

Officers are now finalising details of the design and the work is expected to last 21 weeks.

The Agency's area flood defence manager, Ian Hodge, said: "We review our plans after every flood incident to see how we can improve on them.

"We want to provide the best defences possible for Corbridge so it was vital that we took a fresh look at the improvements in light of everything we learned from the flooding in January."

How the floods have disrupted daily life in Carlisle

Severe weather hits water supply
10 Jan 05 |  England
In pictures: Carlisle floods
09 Jan 05 |  Photo Gallery
Flooding alert as rains continue
10 Jan 05 |  Scotland

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