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'Central Watford needs a long-term flood plan', says councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst
New flood measures should be looked at to prevent central Watford becoming deluged again, according to a politician for the area.
Stephen Giles-Medhurst, a representative for Central Watford and Oxhey, said if flooding was to become more frequent action must be taken to protect homes.
Houses on Lower High Street were put at risk from rising water after the River Colne burst its banks on Friday. Water Lane and Bushey Hall Road, in Bushey, were also inundated by the river.
The area has traditionally been a flood risk due to its low-lying nature and suffered particularly bad flooding in 1903 and 1946. However, in previous years there has been decades between incidents of the Colne bursting is banks in central Watford.
Last week’s flood, which came after record rainfall in January, was the second time in five years the area has become overwhelmed.
Councillor Giles Medhurst, said flooding in the town had previously been talked of as a "once in a 100-years" event.
But having had two deluges so close together, he said plans should be looked at to ensure the River Colne burst its banks away from densely populated areas.
He said: "I will be talking with the council and meeting with the Environment Agency to see if additional measures need to be in place as a long term solution.
"I think it is fair to say given the excessive rain we have had we should look at whether it is better that the river burst its banks where there are flood plains, i.e. fields rather than properties.
"It is important that people’s homes and households are protected."
In 2009 two pumps were built into the drainage system under Lower High Street to protect homes in the case of flooding.
On Friday a third pump had to be brought in from Kings Langley to cope with the rising flood water.
A fourth has since been brought in from Surrey ahead of more heavy rain forecast for later this week.
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