The delays in opening the sluice gate exacerbated flooding in a town where people had to be rescued from chest-high water, says council leader.
On the 7th of November, Worksop was flooded when the River Ryton burst its banks due to heavy rainfall.
The last flood that hit Worksop was 80 years ago, so the town is not very prone to flooding from the experience in their past.
The fire service said that, two homeless men almost drowned when they became trapped in an industrial wheelie bin they had been sleeping in during the flood.
Council officials and residents in Worksop repeatedly asked the Canal and River Trust [CRT] to alleviate the flooding by opening the sluice gate. The gate was eventually opened by a firefighter several hours later, after the water had rose to chest level.
Local resident, Theresa Downing, who stays at the site, said she phoned the CRT at 12:00. “They said there was no flood alert on the River Ryton and I said ‘I’m stood looking at it and I’m telling you it has burst its banks’,” she said. “They sent somebody out, there was somebody here at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and they still did not open that gate. “We feel very let down.”
The CRT added there were “some concerns about how it [opening the gate] would impact water levels elsewhere, because it’s hard to determine how other areas would have been affected”. “Our staff have worked admirably at numerous locations to deal with incidents, including through the night in many cases.”
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We are closely monitoring the situation. Please avoid contact with flood water and plan driving routes to avoid low-lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded.”
Areas that are at risk of floods are: Lower Sprotbrough, Retford, Eaton and Gamston, West Retford and Ordsall, Carlton on Trent including Beck Cottage.