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Sulby Flood Alleviation Scheme Is Completed 8 December 2006

A scheme to protect homes in Sulby left devastated by two major floods in the space of three years has been completed.

Residents in the village’s Carrick Park and Millrace estates can rest easier now that the Sulby Flood Alleviation Scheme is in place after 15 months of intensive work by the Department of Transport.

The homes were damaged by flooding when Sulby River burst its banks in 1998 and again in 2000. A feasibility study looked at several options for protecting the village from further flooding and work began on the chosen scheme last year.

The Department’s Land Drainage Engineer Malcolm Cowin explained:

‘The works commenced in June 2005 with the construction of the Flood Attenuation (storage) Lake to the rear of Carrick Park, which provided relief straight away. We followed that on this year with the construction of the flood defence walls along the river bank in Carrick Park and the Millrace.
‘The combination of these two structures working in unison will provide flood protection which will greatly reduce the risk of flooding to properties along this stretch of river.’

The scheme was originally planned to take place over three years at a cost of £1.2 million. However, to reduce the risk to residents this was compressed into a 20-month schedule and as a result of examining the methods and types of construction the scheme was completed within programme and budget

‘During the construction period an excellent working relationship was established between our workforce and the local residents,’

Mr Cowin said.

‘The Department wishes to thank the residents for their assistance and cooperation during the works which has helped us achieve our aims.’

Mary and Richard Webb live in Carrick Park on the south side of the river.

‘The level of the flooding in our house was between 18 and 24 inches,’

Mr Webb explained.

‘It came up and went down again, a couple of hours from start to finish. But you only need a couple of inches and you have wrecked the lot.
‘We were sitting on the stairs and the waste bin went floating by and I asked if Mary fancied a cup of tea, because there were teabags floating by as well!’

Mrs Webb said:

‘We don’t want to through that again, so to have the alleviation scheme completed is a great relief.’

Mr Webb added:

‘The chaps from the Department came in and they did their job – and they did a fantastic job.’

To construct the flood defence walls, rather than cause disruption to each property by having to enter from the front, the project team established a connecting corridor at the bottom of each garden, which took up about one-third of each home’s garden for the duration.

Nicola and Philip Sherrard have lived at Mill Race for seven and a half years.

Mrs Sherrard explained:

‘I was pregnant at the time of the flood in 2000 and we had to move out into rented accommodation for a couple of months.
‘While the team were in doing the flood defence wall, we thought they would take away half of our garden forever, but they did not – they were in and out quickly and were very helpful, and the wall was finished off very nicely. We’re very happy with the way it looks now.’

Mrs Sherrard added:

‘A few weeks ago the level of the river rose back up, but it was nice to know that the wall was there.’

Eddie Teare, MHK for Ayre, said:

‘I’m delighted that the scheme has been completed in two years instead of three and it should bring some comfort and security to the residents of the area.’

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