Night of the Thunderstorms 27th May

The night of Sunday 27th May saw a prolonged series of thunderstorms across the country, with many areas experiencing flooding from the accompanying rain.

In the valley, we suffered a fair amount and the thunder was very loud on several occasions. However, as far as Valley Road was concerned, this coped better than usual with the downpour. In fairness, we have seen harder rain and for longer periods, but during the very intense periods, Valley Road did not become overly awash nor did the drains become overwhelmed.

We saw the rain flowing along the pavement at a fair rate, but as far as we know nobody had water run down their drives and into their garages.

During the heaviest rain late in the evening my wife and I checked the state of the road from our front bedroom and noticed an individual moving in the area of the bus stop opposite the village hall. He appeared to be taking photos of the drains, and would then disappear for a few minutes before returning and doing it again. He was not dressed for the weather and looked like he was getting drenched. We had thought this to be a neighbour accumulating evidence of a problem, but did not recognise who it was, nor could we understand it because the road drains seemed to be coping well.

Several days later,  the mystery was solved. Debs Lemon had received a mail from Jonathan Roberts, project engineer with TFB. He had indicated that after the clearing of ditches and the jetting of the road drainage system in Valley Road near the hall, a camera survey was carried out. This was then to be analysed with a view determining the extent of the second part of the drainage improvements.

In his mail, Jonatan revealed that he had been in the area when the thunderstorm was at its height on Sunday 27th and had taken the opportunity to take videos of how the drainage system actually worked when under pressure. This was an invaluable experience as far as he was concerned; previously both Debs Lemon and I sent images and short video clips to TFB, but it must help for Robert to have seen it for himself.

TFB are now deciding on a number of measures to increase capacity of the system and increase the rate of removal of surface water from the carriageway. In the slightly longer term, Jonathan has recommended that the carriageway is reprofiled because it has very little camber, hence surface water will remain on the surface for longer and increase the amount of the splashing. This combined with the improvements to the drainage should make the situation a lot better.   

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