Surrey sees £1m scheme to clear River Wey after floods

Field flooded by River Wey The River Wey saw some of its highest flows in nearly 15 years over winter, the Environment Agency said

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Work to clear sand and fallen trees from a Surrey river that saw severe floods over the winter will take place after £1m was allocated to the scheme.

The River Wey experienced some of its highest levels in nearly 15 years.

More than 160 properties in Guildford and Cranleigh flooded after nearly 2.3in (60mm) of rain fell in one day.

The Environment Agency said the high flows left large amounts of sand, which reduced the river width. A large number of trees also fell in the storms.

Contractors will start work next month to clear the trees and areas where sand has built up, after the government awarded the funds to the Environment Agency.

Flood risk manager Ian Tomes said clearing the sand and trees would restore the river capacity.

"This will help in a small way to reduce flood risk to the area," he said.

'More chance to prepare'

Environment Agency engineer Ian Mawdsley said maintenance was carried out on the River Wey every year with about half a million pounds spent on the work annually.

"The additional million will enable us to get into some reaches we don't work in that frequently," he said.

He said the work would probably not stop flooding altogether but would help with smaller flood events, by delaying the onset of flooding so people had more chance to prepare.

Waverley council leader Robert Knowles welcomed the cash grant and said it showed the government had recognised flooding was a serious issue in the area.

He said council teams had worked resolutely to support people affected by flooding and any measures to reduce flood risk in the area were welcome.

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