Robertsbridge saved from flood disaster

Flooding in Robertsbridge.
Flooding in Robertsbridge.

HOMES in Robertsbridge were saved from flooding following torrential rain over the Christmas period.

Fields were left under several feet of water after the River Rother burst its banks.

But homes and businesses were spared, thanks to the early deployment of the village’s flood defences on December 23.

A team from the Environment Agency were out in force in the village in order to avoid a repeat of the serious flooding experienced in October 2000.

More then 70 properties were flooded on that occasion, with some residents forced to leave their homes for many months.

Rother District Council delivered sandbags to the village, as residents and businesses prepared for the worst.

But unlike Tonbridge and Yalding, which both suffered serious flooding, Robertsbridge was saved from disaster.

One resident said: “The water was only a few feet away from coming over the road.

“It was at the door of the pavilion, which was quite high.”

Sandie Madge, who runs the Floral Boutique in the High Street, said: “I had every faith in the barriers.

“But let’s see in the next few days if they are put to the test again.”

Cllr Sue Prochak praised the Environment Agency for its speedy response to the flooding threat.

She said: “Without the flood defences built after the disastrous flooding of 2000, there would have been many Robertsbridge houses flooded this Christmas.

“The defences were built to withstand a one in a hundred year flood event and we are so fortunate to have them in place and in working order as they are tested regularly by the Environment Agency.”

Flood alerts remained in place as the Observer went to press on Thursday morning.

The Environment Agency put an alert in place for the River Rother at Robertsbridge, Etchingham, Salehurst and Bodiam.

A flood alert was also in place for the Combe Haven area, particularly for low-laying land in Crowhurst.