Let’s hope we never see a day like yesterday again.
Although if you live in Feniton, it’s an absolute certainty you will.
The much-heralded storm made itself known in the early afternoon and vented its full fury on a village which has suffered so much flooding before.
Water gushed furiously from the field behind Mount View and spilled out on to Station Road, which had to be closed with bollards placed strategically to discourage people from driving through. Drivers insistent on pushing their way through even a couple of centimetres of water can send a bow wave down the bank towards houses built below the level of the road.
The ‘road block’ had to be manned all afternoon to ensure that cars didn’t attempt to force their way through. This time, drivers were understanding and turned round to find a safer route. On previous occasions, flood wardens have been sworn at by drivers who put their own needs before those of others.
Water poured off the field beside Feniton’s latest development where swales (ditches) take surface water around the site, round the attenuation tank and then direct it straight through the Parish Council-owned play area. The swings had already been removed from a previous bout of heavy rain, when the ground under the swings was silted up with slimy sand from the surface water run-off.
The flood risk assessment submitted by Wainhomes and approved by the Environment Agency and Devon County Council seems to be woefully inadequate for dealing with surface water run-off from this high point of the village. Both the plan and the scheme put in place by Wainhomes need to be carefully scrutinised to ensure that what was planned and approved has actually been put in place.
And so it continued … sandy water poured under the allotment gates down Coventry Close and several of us spent some time trying to direct the flow to different drain holes so that they were not overwhelmed.
It’s boring, tedious, cold, dispiriting work … And we seem to spend far too much of our time worrying about what the weather will inflict on us next.
It’s probably a good time to thank the many flood wardens and other residents who give so selflessly of their time.
A particular thank you has to go to the kind resident of Exeter Close who came out with tea and biscuits for Danny and Jayne who stayed on Station Road until it was safe to re-open the road.
But where was everyone else?
It was a Saturday, so lots of people would have been at home, warm and comfortable, hunkered down to watch the first of the Six Nations matches. It would be really appreciated if people would come out if only to give a word of encouragement or perhaps an offer of practical support.