EXPERTS are still trying to establish why Bournemouth’s Iford Bridge mobile home park was flooded so quickly and so dramatically at Christmas.
A meeting heard the town had experienced one of its wettest Decembers ever – but that practically all the rain fell in the last two weeks.
Matthew Boon, team leader for partnerships and strategy at the Environment Agency in the south west, said high water levels at several Dorset rivers came together to cause problems.
But he said the agency was still looking at why Iford Bridge flooded in a very short time.
“Why was the onset of flooding so quick at Iford? We don’t know why that is and we’re looking into it,” he said. He expected to have more information in February.
The meeting heard Littledown and Iford councillor Lawrence Williams call for measures to protect Iford Bridge Home Park.
“From the residents’ point of view, they need some sort of reassurance that they’re safe on a long-term basis,” he said.
The meeting heard Bournemouth saw twice as much rain as normal in December, making it the third wettest December since 1975.
But Paul Ambrose, drainage and flooding manager for Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “All the rain fell in the last two weeks of December.”
Between 3.23am on December 23 and 1.38am on December 24, there was 50.6mm of rainfall.
But the rate of rainfall never exceeded 5mm an hour – and the town’s rainfall gauges have alarms set to sound 7mm an hour.
Mr Ambrose said: “We never really had any intensive rainfall – it just kept raining.”
He said Holdenhurst Village had been well protected by its flood bank. “If that flood bank hadn’t been there, most of Holdenhurst Village would be under 18 inches of water,” he added.
Cllr John Trickett said the town should be prepared for more flooding. “It may even get worse so we have to be very mindful of what we can do to mitigate the effect of surface water flooding in the urban areas.
“The thing with park homes is always going to be with us if park homes are located where they are and we haven’t got systems to spread the water far upstream.”