Collapse of Blackburn flood walls ‘could lead to loss of life’

Collapse of Blackburn flood walls ‘could lead to loss of life’

Collapse of Blackburn flood walls ‘could lead to loss of life’

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

RIVER walls aimed at preventing floods in Blackburn town centre are in desperate need of repair, according to the Environment Agency.

Agency bosses want to replace the walls surr-ounding the River Blakewater, which flows underneath the town centre.


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The project manager in charge of the proposal said the walls as they stood risked collapse during high water which could prove fatal.

Plans have been submitted to carry out work on the walls of the river from the culvert by Blackburn Youth Zone in George Street to the outlet by the ambulance station in George Street West.

Project manager for the Environment Agency Robert Carr said: “Across the full river reach, the current flood walls vary in condition and height.

“The Environment Agency scheme looks to replace these walls to a consistent height that protects the area to a 1-in-100 year standard of defence.

“The proposed solution is to remove existing walls and replace with a reinforced concrete wall.

“Due to the current poor conditions, some of the current flood walls are in a dangerously poor condition and risk sudden collapse during high water.

“Sudden collapse could lead to loss of life and rapid onset of flooding if occur-ring under a high river level.

“This scheme will address this risk as well as provide a massive opportunity for regeneration in this area.”

The 1.2km stretch of water also flows beneath Freckleton Street, Byrom Street, Darwen Street and Whalley Banks.

According to information submitted by the Environment Agency, the river walls protect 100 commercial and 66 residential properties from flooding and also act as a barrier between the river and a large number of buildings.

As part of the £28million Cathedral Quarter work in the town centre, a stretch of the river culvert near Dandy Walk had its walls and roof strengthened earlier this year.

Comments (4)

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4:12pm Fri 5 Sep 14

woolywords says...

Around the back of the Youth Zone is this little piddley stream, the River Blakewater. You look at it and think, river; are they joking?
Now I don't know what you know about fluid dynamics but you can only put so much water down a tube of fixed size in a certain amount of time..
To the formula.. Q = V / T That means any water that cannot get down the pipe, is going to back up and spill over it's banks. And it's done it before, one more than a few occasions, never mind this 1 in 100 years thing. I've lived here for less than 20 years and have seen that river go overboard, many a time.
When you think that it can rain, continously for a week on the upper slopes of it's collection area, then every other street has it's gutters and drains all going in to it, it's not going to take a great deal for it to become a raging torrent of water.
Someone once laughed at me, when I said, what's the Moon phase at the moment? As I felt that, given the rain, the level of the river, the Moon phase could play a part. It did, Rosenthal's in Gorse Street were flooded that very afternoon, as the Moon passed.
They've spent a fortune on trying to prevent flooding but I know that, given the change in our climate during my lifetime, they are on an hiding to nothing. They cannot deepen it, to increase a variant of Q, to allow for greater flow, as there are too many restrictions downstream, especially where it goes beneath the streets of the town centre.
And don't forget, rainwater is added via drains to the canal, which too, only has a certain capacity to retain water within it. The sumps, lodges and header reservoirs also have limits too (ask your man in Dickens Street, as it's what is causing his floods but nobody has worked that out yet!).
To be honest, we all know about climate change but until we realise that we are getting the same rain, just in a shorter period of time, these 1 in 100 year floods are going to be more frequent that they expect.
...
Enough of the doom and gloom, let's think outside of the box here..
Where I lived, the townsfolk were granted a water supply, by the local Bishop. The rule was; as much water as flowed through the eye of a millstone.
That dirty, stinking little beck of today, has given me the idea of how to save Blackburn. We simply choke off that rush of water, long before it hits the industrial estates, housing estates or shops in the town centre but this comes at a price. Someone, somewhere upstream, has to forgo the drained fields that they enjoy now. Where the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.
We have to lower the canal level, to enable it to be a diversion, with hydro-dynamic pumps that provide power to lift water into it from the race of the river. An Hydrologists nightmare..
In fact, the whole project should be thrown open to the kids of this town, as a problem for them to solve, as they will inherit this from us all. Windmills, wind turbines or more efficient solar panels, that work in reduced light levels of Winter, whatever.
As I said, Q = V / T, where V is greater than T: Resolve, to equation.
Q = the physical tube, be it square or cylindrical
V = the fluid mass
T = Time (constant)
You cannot increase V because of pressures..
The rush of Mass becomes a problem in of itself..
Where's Brian Cox when you want him, to explain this..
Concrete will only tolerate a certain level of pressure, before it degrades.
...
Anyway, your problem, not mine..
Around the back of the Youth Zone is this little piddley stream, the River Blakewater. You look at it and think, river; are they joking? Now I don't know what you know about fluid dynamics but you can only put so much water down a tube of fixed size in a certain amount of time.. To the formula.. Q = V / T That means any water that cannot get down the pipe, is going to back up and spill over it's banks. And it's done it before, one more than a few occasions, never mind this 1 in 100 years thing. I've lived here for less than 20 years and have seen that river go overboard, many a time. When you think that it can rain, continously for a week on the upper slopes of it's collection area, then every other street has it's gutters and drains all going in to it, it's not going to take a great deal for it to become a raging torrent of water. Someone once laughed at me, when I said, what's the Moon phase at the moment? As I felt that, given the rain, the level of the river, the Moon phase could play a part. It did, Rosenthal's in Gorse Street were flooded that very afternoon, as the Moon passed. They've spent a fortune on trying to prevent flooding but I know that, given the change in our climate during my lifetime, they are on an hiding to nothing. They cannot deepen it, to increase a variant of Q, to allow for greater flow, as there are too many restrictions downstream, especially where it goes beneath the streets of the town centre. And don't forget, rainwater is added via drains to the canal, which too, only has a certain capacity to retain water within it. The sumps, lodges and header reservoirs also have limits too (ask your man in Dickens Street, as it's what is causing his floods but nobody has worked that out yet!). To be honest, we all know about climate change but until we realise that we are getting the same rain, just in a shorter period of time, these 1 in 100 year floods are going to be more frequent that they expect. ... Enough of the doom and gloom, let's think outside of the box here.. Where I lived, the townsfolk were granted a water supply, by the local Bishop. The rule was; as much water as flowed through the eye of a millstone. That dirty, stinking little beck of today, has given me the idea of how to save Blackburn. We simply choke off that rush of water, long before it hits the industrial estates, housing estates or shops in the town centre but this comes at a price. Someone, somewhere upstream, has to forgo the drained fields that they enjoy now. Where the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few. We have to lower the canal level, to enable it to be a diversion, with hydro-dynamic pumps that provide power to lift water into it from the race of the river. An Hydrologists nightmare.. In fact, the whole project should be thrown open to the kids of this town, as a problem for them to solve, as they will inherit this from us all. Windmills, wind turbines or more efficient solar panels, that work in reduced light levels of Winter, whatever. As I said, Q = V / T, where V is greater than T: Resolve, to equation. Q = the physical tube, be it square or cylindrical V = the fluid mass T = Time (constant) You cannot increase V because of pressures.. The rush of Mass becomes a problem in of itself.. Where's Brian Cox when you want him, to explain this.. Concrete will only tolerate a certain level of pressure, before it degrades. ... Anyway, your problem, not mine.. woolywords
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Fri 5 Sep 14

woolywords says...

Way off topic..
Anyone know whom is going to demolish the old Infirmary?
Would love to know.
Way off topic.. Anyone know whom is going to demolish the old Infirmary? Would love to know. woolywords
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Fri 5 Sep 14

doggydog says...

who cares, its a dump away ro be honest! Just move away! Save money and lives!
who cares, its a dump away ro be honest! Just move away! Save money and lives! doggydog
  • Score: 1

9:08pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Arthur 2 sheds says...

I didn't know Isambard Kingdom Brunel was still alive.
I didn't know Isambard Kingdom Brunel was still alive. Arthur 2 sheds
  • Score: 2

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