More residents near to where flooding has damaged an estate in Newcastle were strongly advised to leave their homes today (Saturday Sept 29) as a safety measure.
People living in Mill Vale, Newburn, Newcastle, were advised to leave following concerns that rain forecast for Sunday could cause further flooding.
Earlier this week all remaining residents in Spencer Court, Newburn, were evacuated after persistent heavy rain caused the estate to flood - severely eroding the foundations of one of the five blocks of flats.
Residents were advised today that they may wish to leave their homes in Mill Vale today. Up to 10mm of rain has been forecast tomorrow.
A dene, north of the estate, which is full of water, could overflow and cause more flooding if rain is heavy.
A second dene behind Mill Vale homes which has debris from an earlier flooding event could fill very quickly with water if a culvert becomes blocked, and so the decision to evacuate was taken by the emergency services and Newcastle City Council, and supported by Northumberland Estates who own a section of the culvert and builders Dunelm, who built Spencer Court.
Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Quality of Life, Coun Henri Murison, said: “This decision to evacuate Mill Vale homes is an operational decision taken for safety reasons which I support.
“In making this decision we have wanted to give people plenty of time to consider the advice and pack their belongings.
“I would call on insurance companies to give residents every assistance that they can. If they do not, then the city council will work hard to lobby on residents’ behalf.”
51 homes are affected by the evacuation.
The City Council has set up a rest centre at Newburn Activity Centre for residents to go to.
Further rain is forecast, at this stage, for next Friday which is why residents are being told to be prepare to be out of their homes for up to two weeks.
Even without rain, until the higher dene is drained to a lower level, the threat will remain, and it is estimated this could take that long. Also demolition work is likely to start next week.
A spokesperson for Northumberland Estates said: “Northumberland Estates sympathises greatly with the residents of Mill Vale as they make the difficult decision over whether to leave their homes for the next two weeks.
“A number of residents raised safety concerns at the meeting on Thursday night and this has to be the main priority for all of the team working to resolve this problem.
“The safety of residents is paramount and on this basis we support the Council in their decision to follow through on their plans for evacuation in the face of the current unpredictable weather forecast.
“Northumberland Estates remain committed to solving the problem of the blocked culvert on our land as quickly as possible and we have devoted significant resources to achieve this.
“Work at Spencer Court and Mill Vale to restore and improve the flood defences is on going.”
On an emergency basis, the city council has committed £500,000 towards the costs of cleaning up High Street, Newburn, which was also severely affected by flooding. That road is expected to be closed for up to two weeks while the clean up continues.
A free temporary bus service for residents has been laid on by Nexus until normal services are resumed.
Page last updated: 1 October, 2012