Cause of the flooding at Meaford discovered

The deep flood water at
the junction of Meaford Road with the A34.

“At least two of our residents have written off their vehicle and had to be rescued after discovering how deep the flood water can get at the junction of Meaford Road with the A34. Other drivers found themselves in a similar situation with water up to their necks but fortunately no one has been seriously injured.

This problem has gradually got worse over the last few years but reached crisis point as Staffordshire had its wettest year on record. At first it appeared to be simple run off from the fields on either side as the ground became totally saturated. When the amount of water became so great that the A34 had to be closed in both directions it was obvious that something was seriously wrong.

What few of us realise is that the stream that runs through the Downs Banks ford does not continue towards Stone but turns west underneath the railway then the canal and gets to the River Trent through a large brick culvert underneath Meaford Road. It should then flow down through the park at Meaford Hall and enter the Trent opposite the Darlaston pub. When, eventually, County Highways employed divers to enter the culvert they found that the outlet was reduced to two smaller pipes that were blocked by debris. All the water from the stream then formed a lake between the canal and road and overflowed down Meaford Road and flooded the village and eventually the A34.

Following the latest flood that nearly claimed the life of a Barlaston resident, the County Council kept the road closed while they first tried to pump the water across the road. Later they brought in contractors who took their machines into Meaford Park and power jetted the culverts to improve the flow of water.

Whether these will cope with another major downpour remains to be seen. The snow and the rain that melted it overnight amounted to nearly five inches of rain causing a tidal wave of water to sweep down Meaford Road that could have killed any of us. Only the restoration of the original culvert will ensure our safety.”

John Russell

This article originally appeared in the February 2013 edition of the Barlaston Community Newssheet ‘The Heron’. The rather attractive photograph which looks like a river was taken at Meaford by Katherine Alcock. Our thanks to both sources for this article.