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Rising river levels could shut the A1101 at Welney Washes for second time this year

17:46 25 October 2012

The A1101 at Welney was closed at the weekend

The A1101 at Welney was closed at the weekend

Brian Purdy

Drivers travelling from Wisbech to Littleport could soon face a 30-mile detour as river levels in Welney continue to rise following recent heavy rainfall.

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The stretch of road across the Welney Washes usually closes from the Hundred Foot Bridge to Suspension Bridge during the winter months when the flood plain spills over.

But the River Ouse level at Welney Causeway currently stands at more than two metres and the water is now not far off the road, known as the Causeway,

If closed, it will be the second time this year the road has shut after the wettest April on record saw the road closed for the May Bank Holiday weekend.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency was today enable to say if it believed the recent heavy rainfall would lead to the A1101 at Welney being shut.

But he said: “We continuously monitor water levels and will issue relevant alarms on our website.

“There is no water on the road at Welney Washes. If the situation changes, we would update our warning code to the relevant level.”

The Welney Washes were built to take floodwater in the Fens and beyond, especially in winter, allowing drainage of large areas of land and creating a haven for wildlife within the Washes.

Since the mid-1970s, however, a combination of factors has led to more regular summer floods and longer, deeper winter flooding.

One of the worst prolonged periods of flooding saw water depth levels reach more than 30 inches with the road closed for several weeks in 2007.

When the barriers are down on the road, villagers often report seeing drivers attempt to negotiate the Wash to avoid the 30-mile detour with various amounts of success. Watch the above video to see how this driver gets on.

Anybody concerned about possible floods should visit http://tinyurl.com/ppovw7. There is also an area dedicated to specific river and sea levels which can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2bapvn6.

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