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ada gazette SPRING 2014 | NEWS

Wettest January in Southern England since 1910


Met Office statistics for January 2014 show that the South East and central southern England region has had its wettest January since 1910 (when records began). This part

of the country

is usually fairly dry, with a long-term January average of 80.1 mm rainfall. This year's data, covering the time frame 1-28 January, has revealed that it has more than doubled to 175.2 mm, greater than the previous record of 158.2 mm set in 1988. For the UK as a whole 164.6 mm of rain fell in the period up to 28 January, 35% above the long-term average. Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland all had more rain than usual. Across the south west of England and South Wales, 222.6 mm of rainfall fell between 1-28 January. January has not only been wet, but relatively

mild too. Up to 28 January, the UK’s mean monthly temperature was running 1.2°C above the long-term average. The main reason for the mild and wet weather was a predominance of west and south-west winds, bringing in mild air from the Atlantic.

Flooding forced hundreds of people to spend Christmas away from their homes and thousands were left without power when severe storms hit southern England. Large amounts of

rain falling on already saturated land, river levels, rose flooding parts of the southeast, southwest, and the Midlands. Hundreds were evacuated nationwide, with homes on the Stour near Bournemouth, and Leatherhead and Dorking in Surrey most affected. By Christmas Eve, the Environment Agency had reported that 150 properties had been flooded in England, mainly in Surrey and Kent. On Christmas Day a further 104 flood warnings were issued across England and Wales. The storm caused firefighters in parts of England to break their strike, with members of the Fire Brigades Union in Surrey and Kent recalled to duty under the terms of an agreement between the union, the employers and the Government. One issue that has garnered attention during

the storm and flood events has been the loss of power to thousands of properties and the delay in re-connection. On Christmas Day about 50,000 homes were without power (figures from the Energy Networks Association). UK Power Networks,

Flooding in Worcester (Environment Agency)

which delivers power to approximately 8 million customers in the southeast, east of England and London said there were 23,379 households without power, adding “Due to the severity of the storm damage in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, it may take

until the end of the week to restore power supplies to the final pockets of customers in these areas, though work is continuing to reconnect supplies as quickly as possible.” Some reconnection delays were due to

difficulties encountered accessing damaged equipment due to their location; either on flooded land or with access through flooded land. This has highlighted the importance of the speed of recovery rate at which flood water can flow or be pumped away from the affected areas. If drainage channels, particularly main river channels, are not properly and effectively maintained for capacity, the rate at which flood water can flow away is restricted. Consequently, access by infrastructure maintenance teams, particularly electricity line repair teams, is also restricted. This adds further weight for the need for greater investment in the maintenance of flood defence assets and channel capacity, as part of reducing both flood risk and flood duration.

Severe flooding in Southern England over Christmas TIM VICKERS

The River Stour (Kent) Internal Drainage Board


Expressions of Interest are invited from suitably experienced Contractors who wish to be considered for inclusion on the River Stour (Kent) Internal Drainage Board’s Select List of Tenderers for a 4 Year Watercourse Maintenance Contract and a 4 Year Water Level Control and Emergency Response Contract. The separate Contracts may be extended by up to 3 years, subject to agreement by both parties. Both contracts will commence on 1 April 2015.

Expressions of Interest must be accompanied by information on the applicant’s Financial Stability, Safety Policy, Environmental Policy and Technical Competence. Failure to submit sufficient information, which will be used to assess the applicant’s suitability for inclusion in the Select List of Tenderers, may invalidate the application. It is anticipated that formal Invitations to Tender will be issued to approximately 8 applicants. The successful Contractors will be required to enter into an NEC3 based contract.

Contractors that have tendered previously should also apply if they wish to be considered for the above contracts. Details of applicants will be held on computer in accordance with current Data Protection Legislation.

Applications are to be submitted by 12 noon on 30 April 2014. Formal Invitations to Tender will be issued in due course.

The River Stour (Kent) Internal Drainage Board 34 Gordon Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3PW Email: 7

Environment Agency / Met Office

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