October 25, 2021 1.35 pm

South Ferriby’s £14m flood defences will let village ‘sleep easy’ after traumatic tidal surge

New raised embankments and flood gates

By Local Democracy Reporter

Completed flood defences along the Humber will offer peace of mind for a community which has suffered terrible damage in the past.

The £14 million project could prevent £250million in damages as it protects South Ferriby.

3km of new and raised embankments have been built around the village and the Cemex plant.

The project has also seen concrete walls, a flood gate and movable defences installed around the East Drain and the Hope and Anchor pub.

13-metre long flood gates can be slid across the A1077 in just 15 minutes in a first for the country’s A-roads.

It also protects 150 homes, the vital Grimsby-Scunthorpe rail line and 3,000 hectares of agricultural land.

Part of the new South Ferriby flood defences. | Photo: Jamie Waller

The worst tidal surge in living memory devastated the North Lincolnshire village in 2013, costing an estimated £50billion in economic damage to houses and the Cemex plant.

The Environment Agency, which has led the project,  say the defences will hopefully prevent a repeat of the disaster, even with rising sea levels.

Area director Norman Robinson said: “If you talk to anyone locally, the experience of 2013 was very traumatic. Seeing people throw wrapped Christmas presents into skips because their houses have been flooded with seawater is poignant for most and has left a scar,” he said.

“Over the course of its life, if the defence operates as we have designed it, the community will save about £250million in costs in terms of flooding that will occur.

“For us, it’s a fantastic day. For the community, it brings some peace of mind after the bad experiences of 2013.”

Raised banks as part og the new South Ferriby flood defences. | Photo: Jamie Waller
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The embankment’s height has been increased to deal with rising sea levels in the future.

“All our schemes take into account climate change predictions for the next 50 to 100 years,” Mr Robinson said.

“What we can’t do though is guarantee there will never be more flooding.

“Engineering has to be set to a certain level. What we saw in 2013 is water is the water coming over that level. This scheme will now protect against that, but with climate change, the next 50 to 100 years will be quite testing for us all.

“We will have to work with coastal communities for the next 20 to 30 years to think about how we adapt to the challenges of climate change. We will be back at some point to think about how rising sea levels will affect that.”

The defences were officially opened by Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan.

South Ferriby Parish Councillor Sara Haddon chaired the village’s flood defence committee.

“Residents of South Ferriby are delighted that the new defences are 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,” she said.

Funding and support for the scheme came from the government, North Lincolnshire Council, CEMEX, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and South Ferriby Council.

Further flood resilience measures are underway to protect 20 homes in Winteringham.

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