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On alert as river runs high


Heavy rain this week has brought flood warnings and prompted the district council into action to help prevent water entering homes.

Residents of caravans onTolney Lane, Newark, were advised to evacuate the area as further heavy downpours are expected today and tomorrow.

Representatives of Newark and Sherwood District Council visited Tolney Lane at about 5pm on Wednesday to advise residents to move their caravans to the nearbyLorry Park at Newark Cattle Market.

By 8am yesterday about six caravans had been moved.

The families who moved included Mr and Mrs Dick Price and their children, Tristan (9)Shakira (5) and Riley (2).

Mr Price (31) said they moved to Tolney Lane late last year and where they were living had flooded about a foot deep.

He said the council were kind to let them stay at the lorry park.

Residents were given leaflets detailing facilities such as showers, toilets, drinking water,and where to dispose of rubbish.

On Wednesday two familieswere temporarily moved to a bed and breakfast, and another family were moved into Seven Hills, Quibells Lane, Newark.

Miss Pemelina Lee (23) who lives in a caravan, with her daughters, Venetia Lee (3) and Ayesha Rhianna Lee (two months) praised the council’s early response.

“It is good that the council has come to tell us. When it happened in June there was not enough notice,” Miss Lee said.

“I am keeping an eye on the water. If it comes too close we will have to move.”

The district council staff were joined at Tolney Lane byMrs Annette Warren, a support worker for gipsies and travellers from Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire.

Elsewhere, about 500 sandbags were delivered to Southwell, Oxton and Thurgarton, as well as parts of Boughton and Balderton.

Sandbags were due to be delivered today to a secure holding area in Lowdham for quick distribution if needed.

A similar delivery was also made to Girton.

In total about 1,500 sandbags are being delivered to the two villages, both badly hit by the flooding last year.

Rest centres are on standby at the Grove Leisure Centre, Balderton, Southwell Leisure Centre, and Dukeries Leisure Centre, Ollerton.

The River Trent started rising in Farndon on Wednesdayand by about 3.30pm the carpark and field next to the Newark Crusader were flooded, and the water was starting to fill the Britannia pub carpark.

The landlord, Mr Ian Haughton (54) said the pub would remain open.

He said: “I would be surprised if it doesn’t rise anymore. The river is going to have to rise about 4ft to get into the pub though.”

Mr Ian Harrison, the district council’s strategic manager of risk and resilience, said the council was paying particular attention to the Trent after the Environment Agency upgraded its status on the river from flood watch to flood warning.

He said the full impact on the Trent may not be fully known until the weekend, depending on rainfall levels elsewhere in the country, such as Derbyshire and Staffordshire, which would flow into the river.

Mr Harrison said currently no properties were at immediate risk.

He urged people to make sure the elderly and vulnerable were aware of the situation.

“All I can say is we have been carrying out plans and revision plans since the June floods and we will continue to respond to the needs of the community,” he said.

The leader of the council, Mr Tony Roberts, said they were doing everything they could to minimise the risk.

The A617 was closed yesterday morning after flooding at Kelham and outside the entrance to Newark Rugby Club, on Kelham Road.

There were traffic queueson the A616 from the cattlemarket roundabout to the mini-roundabout at Muskham as traffic was diverted from Kelham.

The Trent at The Wharf, Newark, had spilled over the bank and reached the steps going from the carpark to the jetty.

Of 19 flood warnings in place in the Midlands yesterday there were four in the Newark area — the Trent at Farndon, Newark, Newark Cattle Market and Tolney Lane.

The warning issued by the Environment Agency advises residents that flooding of homes and business is expected and they should act now.

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