WET, WET, WET: A car splashes through the flooded  road at Newbiggin on Saturday – council chiefs are being called on to do more to  stop the reoccurring problem
WET, WET, WET: A car splashes through the flooded road at Newbiggin on Saturday – council chiefs are being called on to do more to stop the reoccurring problem

FURIOUS residents blame blocked drains and poor infrastructure for flooding along two stretches of the main route through the upper dale.

Parts of the B6277 at Newbiggin and the B6282 between Eggleston and Middleton-in-Teesdale were left submerged on Saturday.

Similar problems happened almost at the same time last year and fingers are being pointed at Durham County Council for not resolving the perennial problem.

Alison Hamilton, who lives along the Eggleston parish boundary, said there had been extensive rain and snow melt on Saturday, March 16, leaving the road under in about a foot of water.

She added: “Some of the drains are blocked and all are higher than the road where the water runs.

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“I flagged down the fire engine but they would not help despite water gushing very rapidly through a gateway that has in the past removed a whole section of field.

“Every time we have heavy rain I go and do the drains and check the screens on the biggest stream.

“I report blocked drains to the council promptly but they say they will only deal with them according to their maintenance schedule. They have refused to address the fact that the drains are higher than the road, have no sediment catchers and are regularly not enough to take the water required.”

John Reed, Durham County Council’s head of technical services, said: “All of our highway gullies are cleansed regularly on a schedule varying between three months and 24 months, depending upon risk. Occasionally gullies can become blocked in between scheduled cleanses and we rely upon the public to report these to us via our website or on 03000 260 000. We will then undertake further cleanses as appropriate.

“During severe storms, such as over the weekend, highway gullies can become blocked with debris especially if there is surface water run-off from adjacent land. I can confirm that all the blocked gullies reported to us at these locations over the weekend have been cleansed and are fully operational.”.