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‘Diary of despair’ for Facebook volunteers monitoring flooded Cambs road

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A daily ‘will they ever learn?’ diary has kept thousands of motorists aware of a flooded Fenland road – and of those who think they know best and often get stranded.

Three years ago, a group of volunteers set up the Welney Flood Watch group on Facebook.

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 flooding New Bedford river, A1101, Welney: Saturday 18 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,
A1101, Welney Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

It does what it says on the tin: “to inform interested parties as to the up-to-date position of the flooding of the A1101 road through the village of Welney, Norfolk”.

And recent days it has been as busy as ever, with its 10,000 members sharing daily updates, videos and photographs of the flooded road through their village.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,
A1101, Welney Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Once the road re-opens the page, as usual, will be ‘rested’ until the next flood.

“Whilst best endeavours are made to be as accurate as possible, the team accept no responsibility for any liability or damage caused as a result of the information provided,” says the group in advice to members and visitors.

And if any hapless driver is tempted, the group advises to “please refrain from using any swear words in the comments on posts. They will be removed”.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

.A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.
A1101, Welney Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

The past week has once again seen drivers believing they have the skills, or the vehicle, to get safely across.

Today the group has advised that although the river levels at Welney are falling to about 2.60m overnight, it is currently at 2.64m.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road. A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023.  Picture by Terry Harris.

“The flashing signs were showing 27cm/11inches of flood water on the wash road at 6am,” says the group.

“As yesterday expect a bit of up and down during the day due to the tides affecting the discharge of water from the washes.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.
A1101, Welney Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“Expect to find up to 15/16inches of flood water on that deeper side heading towards Littleport with the centre of the road being similar to the displays on the flashing signs.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road. A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“Sutton Gault is still steadily dropping upstream so all looking good still.

“While river levels remain above the 2.40m trigger level the road remains closed, stay safe and find another route.”

Earlier in the week the group warned that “the current depth is claiming a few cars and vans, mostly strangers to the area that do ignore or misunderstand the signage?”.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Van becomes stuck and needs recovery, A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

On Wednesday volunteers reported: “Several vehicles have been caught out today.

“A Mercedes kebab fridge van and yet another BMW that we had to recover while doing our daily checks as well as those that have been reported to us.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Van becomes stuck and needs recovery, A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“Sadly, none are following the Facebook pages and are obviously ignoring the depths signs.

“Keep sharing these pages please. The high tides are not helping to clear the water away very quickly and it does look as if this will carry on for a few more days yet.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. A1101, Welney Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“The road flooded/closed signs are displayed, and several cars and vans are getting caught out at this depth.”

And on Friday the group posted that “the flashing signs have been showing 28cm of water on the road this afternoon.

A1101 Floods after more rain. Despite the road being closed traffic continues to use the road.,A1101, Welney
Tuesday 14 March 2023. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A1101 Floods after more rain. A1101, Welney Tuesday 14 March 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“Have only been made aware of one vehicle that has needed towing out today, but it has been a busy week for this and some vehicles will have expensive repair bills.

“Hopefully the levels will gradually start to subside over the weekend, but the road is likely to remain closed.”

 

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