Village’s relief at avoiding floods

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Ribchester residents were breathing a sigh of relief this week as what is believed to have been the wettest year for a century came to a close.

Despite there having been River Ribble “flood warnings” and “alerts” at various times throughout the year – including a “warning” for last Saturday – the village has remained virtually flood free throughout 2012.

Residents are unsure why the village – which has suffered for decades – has escaped the flooding which has blighted other parts of the country.

“It is really strange. Nobody seems to know why. Something must be happening between here and Preston,” said resident Carol Milne, who together with husband Alex lives in the house on Greenside in Ribchester closest to the River Ribble.

“But long may it continue, because the aftermath is just horrendous,” she said.

On Saturday, following the flood “warning” issued late Friday afternoon, the Milnes put out the new version of sand bags supplied through the Environment Agency around their house and had flood boards and sealant at the ready.

During the 10 years they have lived on Greenside, Carol said the garden has flooded several times, the last occasion in January 2008.

She said the problem where they live was the beck.

When water from this tributary cannot get into the river because the Ribble is full, it backs up and flows into their garden instead. Similar problems occur at other points in the village.

Their car park can be 4ft 6ins high in water, deep enough for their dog to swim.

“You have to have a zany personality to live here and not be worried about it.

“You can only do what you can,” said Carol, who says in their garage everything is waist high.

They also have one-way valves fitted on the waste pipe.

She says the Environment Agency has cleared out some of the becks in the village and residents of Ribblesdale Road have had special flood doors fitted, after years of problems.

“You have to go ahead and live your life,” she added, thanking fellow residents for their concern and the Environment Agency for their help.

“They have been brilliant and they have done what they can.

“Bar for putting the house on stilts... the rest is nature.”