Report fails to find 'exact causes' of Havering's flooding problems

Kenway near Briscoe Road, Rainham. Resident Deborah Fletcher said the water entered about 10 hourses

Kenway near Briscoe Road, Rainham. Resident Deborah Fletcher said the water entered about 10 hourses on the left hand side. Picture: Deborah Fletcher - Credit: Deborah Fletcher

A report has failed to find the cause of flooding which devastated Havering last year. 

Havering Council’s Flood Investigation Section 19 report was published on November 1 in response to the August 2020 floods.  

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, who has sought to bring together relevant services in a bid to prevent further flooding, has slammed the report as only providing “further delay”.  

Havering’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Osman Dervish, confirmed the report “wasn’t able to find the exact cause”.  

He said the next stage will be to “work with partners to delve deeper into the reasons for the floods and find solutions”. 

The investigation reveals between August 15 and 16 last year, there were reports of flooding at 72 different locations within Havering.

The worst area affected was Rainham.  

As lead local flood authority, the council is responsible for investigating all flood events that occur. 

The report highlights that “one month’s rainfall” fell over 36 hours, but it was “not considered possible to delineate one or several sources as a primary cause of the flooding” and so a “separate investigation” will be undertaken.  

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Recommended actions include checking rain gauges regularly.

Cllr Dervish said the local authority “continually works to keep the gullies clear”, focusing on “vulnerable sites” when heavy rainfall is expected to help reduce the risk.  

Mr Cruddas said tackling the flooding should be an “outright priority” as Rainham residents “need action now” to “protect their homes and reduce flood risk”.  

“We are coming up to another winter and the council should be putting in place a plan of action which offers immediate, medium, and long-term protections,” added Mr Cruddas.  

Cllr Dervish said: “We have a register of the properties at risk of flooding and we are also ensuring we include the recommended list of actions set out by government to help us tackle future flooding to protect our residents.” 

Mr Cruddas said he will continue to work alongside necessary agencies on solutions such as “resilient water management schemes upstream of Rainham” and to make sure all new housing developments include measures to better manage water and not overload existing drainage systems.