Flood-risk reduced for South Ferriby
- Risk reduced for 150 properties, 3,000 hectares, and vital infrastructure.
- £248 million of economic damages avoided over the next 100 years.
- Communities now protected from floods similar to December 2013 tidal surge.
People in South Ferriby are better protected from tidal surges and sea level rises following the completion of a £14 million flood defence in North Lincolnshire.
The major investment reduces flood risk for 150 properties in the area, as well as 3,000 hectares of agricultural land and vital infrastructure. This includes the A1077 and the Scunthorpe to Grimsby railway line, which carries 20% of the UK’s freight.
The reduced risk is predicted to prevent £248 million of potential economic damage over the defences’ lifespan.
Starting in April 2019, the project has seen around 3 kilometres of new and raised defences built between Ferriby Sluice and South Ferriby village. That includes embankments, flood walls, de-mountable barriers and flood gates.
The 13 metre flood gates slide across the A1077, closing in just 15 minutes. They are the country’s first such defences to operate across an A-road.
The new defences are now higher than the water level seen in the devastating tidal surge of December 2013. That means local communities are now protected from a similar event.
The height also takes account of climate change predictions up to 2050.
Further work is now under way to install ‘property flood resilience’ measures to around 20 homes in Winteringham. This involves putting in place products that reduce the risk of water entering the home, such as air brick covers and flood barriers for entrance doors.
Low lying communities along the Humber are at risk of tidal flooding and sea level rise, with South Ferriby experiencing significant flooding in 1953 and 1987. But it was in 2013 that the most recent event hit, when the most severe tidal surge in 60 years struck the east coast of Britain.
The resulting flooding affected 129 properties in South Ferriby and 13 in Winteringham alongside 1,000 hectares of agricultural land that took over 6 years to recover. A main route the A1077 was closed for 4 days and the CEMEX cement plant was put out of action for a year. The damage is thought to have cost the economy £50 billion.
As well as reducing the frequency of tidal flooding from the Humber estuary, the new defences protect and enhance habitat. It also boosts both the economy and local wellbeing.
Kate Halka, operations manager for the Environment Agency, said:
This marks an important milestone for the community. 150 properties, vast areas of agricultural land, and key infrastructure on which local people and the economy depend are now better protected. They are protected from both tidal flooding and sea level rise.
We understand the devastation and heartache flooding brings, and have worked tirelessly with our partners to bring this scheme to South Ferriby.
Of course, it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of flooding. People should always make sure they plan for the worst and sign up to receive warnings but we can manage that risk, as we have here.
The results will benefit people, properties, livelihoods, the environment and the economy for years to come.
Cllr Sara Haddon, Chair of the South Ferriby Parish Council Flood Protection Committee, said:
Residents of South Ferriby Sluice are delighted that the new defences are now complete. Memories of the 2013 floods are still raw and the new defences mean that they can sleep easy as we approach the coming winter.
The Environment Agency urges people to plan ahead for flooding by finding out if their property is in an at-risk area. Signing up for free flood warnings; and knowing in advance what to do. Further information is available on all these steps and more at GOV.UK/Flood and by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
The scheme was completed this summer, and is being officially opened on 22 October by Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan.
It has been designed and built by the Environment Agency. With funding and support from the government, North Lincolnshire Council, CEMEX, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and South Ferriby Parish Council.
Around £7.3 million was committed as part of the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan. This programme of defences resulted in better protection to 314,000 homes across the country between 2015 and 2021. The aim now is working to reduce risk for a further 336,000 by 2027.
The improvements to the flood defences at South Ferriby are part of the ongoing investment in tidal flood risk management around the Humber.
The Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy was developed to provide a long-term approach to managing tidal flood risk in an area vulnerable to climate change. Since its publication in 2008, there has been more than £150 million of investment. This investment is helping to manage the risk of tidal flooding to more than 70,000 properties and important infrastructure around the estuary.