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South Kesteven sees flood of investigations after Storms Henk and Babet

South Kesteven District Council has the third-highest number of ongoing flood investigations in the county.

A report before Lincolnshire County Council’s flood and water management committee on Monday shows 320 ongoing flooding investigations, with 286 added during 2023-24.

This marks a significant increase from the 25 investigations the previous year, following severe weather events like Storm Babet and Storm Henk.

The flooding in Greatford
The flooding in Greatford

Just seven investigations were completed in 2023-24, a drop from 61 the previous year and the lowest of the past six years.

“The combined effects of Storm Babet and Storm Henk have caused significant and widespread issues across Lincolnshire on a scale not seen since Lincolnshire County Council became Lead Local Flood Authority in 2012,” said the report.

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“At the time of writing following the effects of flooding from both storm events 235 Section 19 Investigations are being undertaken covering 825 properties affected by internal flooding.

“Of these, 42 properties were affected by internal flooding from both Storm Babet and Storm Henk.”

The status of flood investigations as of January. | Image: LCC
The status of flood investigations as of January. | Image: LCC

Of the ongoing investigations, 79 are in East Lindsey, 70 are in North Kesteven, and 60 are in South Kesteven.

SKDC was also the district hit hardest by Storm Henk at the beginning of January, with 60 properties internally flooded and 22 Section 19 investigations launched.

The storm brought almost a month's worth of rainfall to parts of the county in just three days.

NKDC also had 22 investigations but only 34 properties internally flooded during Storm Henk.

East Lindsey recorded seven properties internally flooded and five Section 19 investigations launched.

The number of properties flooded during Storm Henk. | Image: LCC
The number of properties flooded during Storm Henk. | Image: LCC

However, Storm Babet caused significant flooding in the district, particularly in Horncastle due to an issue with an Environment Agency protection scheme.

Holbeach in the south of the county received 38.4 mm, well over half of their average January rainfall of 50.8 mm.

South Holland District Council, however, is the third-lowest for total investigations ongoing. It has a total of 28 in total, with 12 noted last year.

During Storm Henk, just six properties were internally flooded, and five investigations were launched.

“All of this came off the back of one of the wettest autumns and Decembers on record which has already left the ground across the county saturated,” said the report.

“The close proximity of Storms Babet and Henk and the extensive impacts that have resulted from them did not permit enough time to assess and understand any additional causation of flooding (beyond excessive rainfall and saturated ground) and develop any mitigation plans.

“Investigating the causes of flooding will remain a priority within the available time and resources moving forward, subject to any further events during this winter period.

“As has been widely reported in the media the flooding impacts have been felt across the country and are by no means confined to Lincolnshire.”

The distribution of investigations and properties flooded following Storm Babet and Henk. | Image: LCC
The distribution of investigations and properties flooded following Storm Babet and Henk. | Image: LCC

Elsewhere in the county, West Lindsey comes fourth highest with 52 ongoing flood investigations. A total of 10 investigations were launched during Storm Henk as 10 separate properties were internally flooded.

The City of Lincoln has 16 ongoing flood investigations, having had none the year prior. Most of those were launched during Storm Babet, with just one launched during Storm Henk after two properties were flooded internally.

Finally, Boston Borough Council has 15 ongoing investigations. Three were launched following Storm Henk after three properties were flooded internally.

Assistance is available for flooded households, significantly affected businesses, small-to-medium-sized businesses, flood-hit property owners, and farmers.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Grant Scheme aims to reduce future flood risks, offering up to £5,000 for eligible properties affected by Storm Henk.

Lincolnshire County Council administers the scheme, with funds covering property surveys and PFR measures.

Currently, 286 expressions of interest and 141 full applications have been received, prioritised to meet government timelines.

The process is continuously reviewed due to capacity limits.

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