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Report unable to determine main cause of Rainham floods

Many properties around Brookway in South Rainham were damaged during the flooding 

A new report has been unable to determine the primary cause of flooding in Rainham in August 2020.

As many as 100 properties were flooded across 72 different locations in the borough over the weekend beginning Saturday, 15 August.

Jacobs, an engineering group, was commissioned by Havering Council to carry out an investigation into the event in January 2021.

The group’s report estimates a month’s worth of rain fell during a 36 hour period and found that was probably the primary cause of the flooding. 

However, the rain gauge closest to the flooded areas was not working at the time and so the estimate is not entirely reliable.

Parts of the drainage system may have also been at reduced capacity due to blocked culverts and gullies or earlier rainfall. This was “particularly likely” around Rainham Marshes. 

Jacobs said it was not possible to “delineate one or several sources as a primary cause of flooding to the areas near Brookway, South Rainham”.  

The group  has recommended a separate investigation is carried out to fully understand what happened. 

It said this would lead to the development of an updated, cross-agency Water Management Plan for the marshes and surrounding areas.

Local MP Jon Cruddas said residents “need action now to protect their homes” and criticised the council for only offering “further delay”. 

“What is clear from this report is that the distress and damage suffered by residents of Rainham village was far worse and far more homes were affected than the rest of the borough put together,” said Mr Cruddas.

“There can be no question that tackling this should be the outright priority, there has been sufficient time to come up with an action plan to protect the area. 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.”

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