Derbyshire pensioner calls for immediate action after second devastating flood in two years

A frustrated Derbyshire pensioner has demanded immediate action after being hit by flooding for the second time in as many years.

Monday, 28th February 2022, 3:24 pm

Peter Keeble, 80, is currently living with a friend after being forced to move out of his flood-damaged home on Dale Road in Matlock Bath.

The pensioner saw waters rise up to 3ft within his property on February 21, as Storm Franklin brought further heavy rain and flash flooding left many roads in the town unpassable.

He has since criticised authorities for their inaction to tackle the repeated issue and is now calling for improved street drainage as a matter of urgency.

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Matlock Bath resident Peter Keeble is angered as his house has been flooded due to recent rain from Storm Franklin

Peter said: “I am absolutely appalled at the lack of support from local services. People in my road have just been neglected and left to fend for themselves.

"As before the retaining wall did its job and the river did not come over the top. Water built up on the highway as a result of heavy rain, some seepage in the retaining walls which weren’t attended to after the last flood, and from an inspection cover.

"As always the drains were blocked and could not cope with the volume of water. When this happened two years ago I was told to phone and get some pumps so the water could be pumped back into the river.

"This time I phoned the Environment Agency, fire brigade, local council, Severn Trent – nobody would help.

Matlock Bath resident Peter Keeble is angered as his house has been flooded due to recent rain from Storm Franklin

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"I’ve raised this issue with Derbyshire County Council numerous times and nothing gets done.

"This really needs to be a matter of great urgency. There also needs to be a more coherent plan when the area is at risk of flooding.

"This the second time we have all been flooded in just over two years. I don’t want the situation repeated again.”

Matlock Bath resident Peter Keeble is angered as his house has been flooded due to recent rain from Storm Franklin

Luckily, Peter is able to claim on insurance but said it will become increasingly harder to get cover should the issue persist.

He now faces being displaced for around four months while the property dries out and repairs get underway.

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) said it sympathises with those affected by the recent flooding, adding it has “worked tirelessly” with its partners “through this difficult time”.

A DCC spokesperson added: "This has included managing our road network to avoid risk to travellers, clearing debris from carriageways, providing sandbags, supporting evacuation of people at risk and ensuring early warning to premises likely to be impacted.

Matlock Bath resident Peter Keeble is angered as his house has been flooded due to recent rain from Storm Franklin

“With the flood waters receding, we have been clearing and re-opening roads and we have now launched our Flooding Hardship Fund for any affected residents and businesses.

“Unfortunately flooding following adverse weather has become a regular occurrence over recent years.

“Following the 2019 flooding we have engaged closely with the Environment Agency and other risk management agencies such as water authorities to prioritise our flood risk management schemes, which then get put forward for bidding into a £5.2bn DEFRA fund for flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes.”

DDC said engineering solutations “are not straightforward” and it has not yet been granted the funds needed to deliver effective preventative measures.

“However, we continue to invest in local measures to improve drainage as much as our budget allows and continue to push for significant investment support from the Government to allow us to do more,” the authority said.

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