Sunday, 13 December 2015
We are lucky that we live in an area with a
3,000 square mile catchment area so we have never yet experienced the drought conditions that so regularly affect the south of England. The water takes five hours to travel from Alston to Newcastle, which is not a great deal of time to prepare for flood conditions. Usually it is a swift rise in levels, lasts for perhaps half a day and then subsides. But by then it has done its terrible work.
Eighteen months of work completed, coupled with eighteen months of frustration and lost business for the residents on either side of the river, it opened briefly on 3rd December and then closed again because the floods knocked the hell out of the scaffolding. They're waiting for normal river levels before they'll check for damage/safety. £3 million has been spent on the bridge - so far. I expect the bridge itself is OK. At the peak of past floods, traffic has been forbidden, but when the waters recede the bridge has been ready for business again. The workmen now have a dismal job of removing the scaffolding, boards around the struts and all the accumulated rubbish. Twigs, branches, tree trunks, doors, plastic buckets and probably a dead sheep or two.
Whose to say it won't happen again if it keeps on raining? We had snow for three or four hours yesterday....