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Bewdley defence work hit by flood


ENVIRONMENT AGENCY flood defence contractor Birse was this week preparing to restart work on demountable flood defences at Bewdley in Worcestershire after the flash flood which engulfed the quay and surrounding houses earlier this month.

Birse was installing contiguous piles in the river bank to form a cutoff wall founded on rock below river bed level.

The piles will support the temporary flood defences which will slot into holes in the foundations at 2m centres, to form a barrier between the river and riverside buildings (NCE 24 January).

Birse was given just 15 hours notice that the river was due to rise 4.6m above normal levels, allowing engineers time to move the piling rigs out of the area. The floods of autumn 2000 reached 5.5m above normal river levels.

However the removal of hard standing, as part of the piling works, left the quay exposed to floodwater - leading to fears of scour undercutting the pavement.

Police issued a safety warning to householders fleeing the flood.

An Agency spokesman said this week that the quay had not suffered any damage, and work was only expected to be delayed by three days.

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