LONG TERM repairs are being made to the River Adur after it burst its banks two week ago.
On Friday, December 6, the high tide combined with a tidal surge flooded over the existing defences and damaged homes and businesses and shut Shoreham Airport.
The tidal surge swept from New Road to East Street flooding homes and businesses on Brighton Road, flooding the Waterside pub on the other side of the bridge and creating large lakes of water on the airport’s airfield.
The Environment Agency’s incident response team installed a temporary barrier to a 20 metre wide section of the river bank defence while a contractor repaired two other damaged sections.
Over the next week the Environment Agency will be working to replace the 20 metre section of temporary barrier with steel sheet piles and earth.
The work will restore the standard of protection to what it was prior to the tidal surge.
The public footpath running along the top of the river bank was also damaged and is currently closed and West Sussex County Council said it will be reopened when it is safe to do so.
Dave Robinson, Operations Manager at the Environment Agency said:
“The flooding and breach were reported to us early on Friday, December 6 by Brighton Shoreham Airport. We acted quickly to install a temporary barrier in the time between tides which held back and mitigated the full force of the second high tide of the day.
“Since then we have been closely monitoring the condition of the temporary defences on a daily basis and have been working with our local authority partners and Brighton Shoreham Airport, to implement suitable permanent repairs to the river bank defences in preparation for the next high tides due over the New Year period.”
This work is scheduled to be completed by December 22, in anticipation of potential floods between December and January.
A spokesperson for Shoreham Airport said: “All the water has been pumped out and there is very limited damage to some buildings in the eastern side of the airport. Works have started on these.
“All the airport’s fuel stocks have been checked and tested, they are intact and free from contamination.
“The Environmental Agency is working hard in order to restore the defences and are nearly finished.”
To receive Environment Agency flood warnings, call 0845 988 1188 or visit the website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk