Surface Water Flooding Bigger Threat To Islands Than Thought

tresco flooding school green

Flooding at Tresco’s School Green last November. Photo courtesy of Eddie Birch.

The Council’s climate change officer says flooding from surface water could be a bigger threat to the islands than first thought.

David Senior, speaking at yesterday’s AONB Joint Advisory Meeting, says they’ve always discounted surface water flooding as being an issue here. Scilly has no rivers or inland bodies of water and the main danger has been identified as coming from the sea.

But David says the extreme wet weather since October has highlighted some areas that could be susceptible to flooding from rainwater.

The Porthloo and Longstone areas of St Mary’s and School Green on Tresco were particularly badly hit last November.

David says some flooding was caused by insufficient drainage in the Lower Moors area and engineers from the Environment Agency will be inspecting this when they visit at the end of the month.

The recent bad weather does not seem to have caused any coastal erosion, although there was some flooding reported in Hugh Town, caused by a combination of high tides and strong winds.

There has also been some damage to the sea wall below Tregarthen’s Hotel and David says they need to work with the Duchy, who own the wall, and the Environment Agency to work out how to get this fixed.

Richard McCarthy expressed his disappointment that work to strengthen the sea wall at Holgate’s Green had not started as planned in November. The Council has received £116,000 from the government to fund this and other work.

David said this was due to problems identifying suitable building material for the project. The Council had wanted to use recycled, crushed glass to back-fill the wall, but the Environment Agency had refused permission, as they didn’t think it was up to the job.

Chief Technical Officer, Neville Gardner is now looking to buy a new glass crusher, which will produce fine builders’ sand, and they’re awaiting a decision on this new material before work starts.

The Council may also extend the strengthening work further along the harbour, under Schooner’s Hotel.