No white Christmas as flooding hits Cambridge region

Jenny Buckley 27 December 2012

Weather warnings are still in force across the Cambridge region as residents are warned to keep an eye on their properties over the festive period.

Warnings have been in place since last Wednesday after one quarter of the average rainfall for December fell overnight. The Environment Agency and Met Office issued several warnings as 25mm of rain fell across the region. In total 35 flood alerts were issued, in addition to 12 flood warnings. These covered the rivers Cam, Granta and Rhee in addition to the Bourn and Beck brooks. The above photo shows a car submerged at Hinxton Ford, nine miles South of Cambridge. Colleges of the University were also placed on low-level alert by the Environment Agency amidst fears that the Cam would burst its banks.

However, yesterday after further rainfall, the fear of flooding became a reality for residents of West Chesterton. People living in Midsummer Meadows have been struggling to reach their apartments after the car park was submerged by over a foot of water. The rising waters have effectively trapped residents inside their homes for four days. Those responsible for managing the estate are attributing the flooding to the fact that the estate’s car park is five feet below the level of the river.

West Chesterton is not the only area affected as people living on Cottenham Road, Histon have also been hit by flood waters. Their gardens have been flooded twice with sewage after pumping stations were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of rainwater. The heavy rainfall has overloaded drains across the region, placing an extreme workload on Anglian Water, who manage the area’s drainage system. As a temporary solution to the sewerage problem, the company is directing a tanker to the Cottenham Road area to relieve pressure on the drainage network, which will hopefully prevent further flooding.

Meanwhile, those affected by the flooding have little to do but wait until the water levels go down. As one resident affected by the flooding told Cambridge News, ‘there isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel’ as further rainfall is forecast over the next week.

Jenny Buckley