Potential flooding issues

I was very interested in the piece by David Dennis in my Bexhill Observer (20/3/15) clearly illustrating problems faced in the Coombe Valley area resulting from increased levels of rainfall and rising tides.

It follows his previous description of severe flooding concerns in the valley on 26/1/15. Both articles take a broader view than Just Coombe referring to the wider Hastings area and including Bexhill.

He examines a number of possible solutions to the Coombe Haven threat and admits that all of them would involve great expense/inconvenience.

He (perhaps reluctantly) suggests that more powerful pumps could tackle the problem of closed sluice gates at the outlet during high tides. He may be very wise to have asked for further public debate on this and maybe any other ideas?

I recall that during the national flooding alert two years ago, one part of the country had the all the latest pumping gear but they weren’t switched on in time!

I believe a similar problem arose within the Hastings Priory Shopping area relatively recently when the precautions were not activated, causing much damage and inconvenience via flooded basements.

As I’m away from Sussex quite soon there isn’t time for me to visit in person but I’ve looked at one of my old maps to try and work out why the outlet channel was diverted so far east towards the Bo Beep in the first place, after running parallel to Haven Road?

If anyone has information on this I would be keen to know the answer.

the map, it would seem to have been easier to just keep going due south across/under the Bexhill /Bulverhythe Road junction at the time and in the direction of the (former?) Sewage Works at Bridge way but probably, I’m just demonstrating ”outsider” ignorance! Should the feared catastrophic flooding event take place, however, I wonder if there is a possibility that excess water may go due south anyway. notwithstanding housing and caravans being inundated further up the valley.

Caravans can be mounted on foam/concrete slabs anchored to rise with the flood but that’s not an overall solution for Coombe.

It does seem unfortunate that the ultimate discharge point is so low it’s often rendered useless, forcing a dangerous back up along the river channel.

I don’t have a contour map but, as the water is travelling downhill in the first place (it usually does),

I wonder if it would be at all practical to divert south and raise the discharge height in some way, avoiding pumps and the need to activate them?

There is a main road to circumvent I appreciate but that’s there anyway.

Maybe it’s all just pie (aqua) in the sky but in the event of a flood disaster you might finish up with a new waterway across Bexhill Road anyway.

The disruption could, potentially, be phenomenal.

DAVE WALSH

Rotherfield Avenue