Nene bursts its banks as flood warnings issued

THE River Nene has burst its banks after days of heavy rain fall.

The North Bank near Whittlesey has flooded after the region saw the wettest April on record.

This morning the Environment Agency issued fresh flood warnings and alerts for areas around March and Whittlesey after nearly 40 warnings were issued nationwide.

A spokesman said: “The River Nene is very high at the moment and the washlands are being used.

“In some areas the river will have come out of its channel and into the general flood plain which is expected when the river is so high.”

Despite the heavy rainfall over the past month, the region remains in a state of drought.

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: “This is very helpful but we are not out of the woods yet.

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“We have seen about two and a half to three times the normal rainfall. From our point of view that has been welcome - there has been water in the Nene we were able to take for our resevoir at Rutland.

“It is still below where we would expect them to be at this time of year but the rain has certainly helped close the gap.”

The spokesman also said April’s rain had suppressed demand for water as householders had not needed to water their gardens or clean their cars.

Today, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service reminded residents not to dial 999 unless it is an emergency.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said there misconceptions about what the fire service could do in flood situations.

“What many people don’t realise is there has to be certain level of water - generally about six inches - before we can use our pumping equipment effectively, and even then there has to be somewhere for us to pump the water to that won’t have an adverse knock on effect to someone else’s property,” he said.

He clarified the fire service does not provide residents with sandbags.

A fire service spokesman said safety on the road is also key and drivers should avoid driving through floodwater.

What to do in a flood:

*If you know your home is at risk of flooding, prepare a list of useful

phone numbers and keep it somewhere safe.

*If your home does begin to flood, turn off your electricity supply, and do

not touch any sources of electricity such as switches or appliances

when you are standing in flood water. For more electrical advice during

a flood log on to the Electrical Safety Council.

*If you have an elderly or vulnerable family member or neighbour who is

at risk of flooding, contact them to ensure they are prepared and know

what to do should their home flood.

*Don’t try to drive through standing water - as well as the water

damaging your car, there may be hazards under the water you can’t


*Listen out for warnings on radio and TV and phone Floodline on 0845

988 1188 for more information.

*Dial 999 is there is imminent risk to a person’s life.