Emergency work on river bank criticised

Sandbags lining the River Skirth between North Kyme and Billinghay. (Photo: Environment Agency.)
Sandbags lining the River Skirth between North Kyme and Billinghay. (Photo: Environment Agency.)

Environment Agency engineers worked through the night on a riverbank to strengthen it against a potential breach and disastrous flooding, but their methods have been criticised by a neighbouring farmer.

A team with machinery, 4,000 sandbags and sheeting worked on a 120 metre stretch of the River Skirth between North Kyme and Billinghay on Wednesday night into Thursday morning after heavy rain created high water levels, with more rain expected.

Environment Agency engineers have been on site making emergency repairs to the banks of the River Skirth at Billinghay to prevent flooding after forecasts of two days of heavy rain.

Environment Agency engineers have been on site making emergency repairs to the banks of the River Skirth at Billinghay to prevent flooding after forecasts of two days of heavy rain.

Manfai Tang, Area Duty Manager with the Environment Agency in Lincolnshire, said: “We’re taking this precaution after our inspections found a stretch of the bank had been damaged by high flows as a result of the ongoing wet weather.

“Our officers will be closely monitoring conditions around the clock and are ready to take immediate action as needed.”

Water levels still remain extremely high, up to the top of the bank in places and parts of the A153 remain under water.

Carol Lish, who lives on a farm opposite the Skirth, said she and neighbours felt the Environment Agency had left the banks and adjacent land in a worse state.

She said: “They have left sandbags squashed into the ground where their machines got stuck in the boggy ground. We warned them, but they have devastated the common and we believe they have made the bank more unstable.”

She said: “I am more worried now,” as she says the water is spilling over onto the road in more places now, and the land is more boggy and will take a year to recover.

The Environment Agency was approached for comment but had not responded.

Flood warnings have subsided in some parts of the area after the Ruskington Beck overtopped in low-lying spots, while drains backed up, blocking toilets. Residents on fenland north and south of Sleaford were also put on Flood Alert as minor watercourses were brimful.