Floods have forced a school for children with special needs to shut for the fourth day running.
Morecambe Road School had to tell pupils to stay at home again today due to water damage to its boiler following last week’s unprecedented rainfall.
The school suffered flooding during the highest recorded rainfall in our area over a 24-hour period in more than 50 years.
Morecambe Road, which caters for almost 150 children with special educational needs, was surrounded by water of up to 45cm deep as floods wreaked havoc in the area following persistent rain throughout Wednesday and on Thursday morning.
The nearby Lancaster and Morecambe College was also closed on Thursday and Friday due to a flooded boiler room – then reopened on Monday – and a playing field next to the link road junction was submerged in water.
“We have no heating and no hot water so we are closed on health and safety grounds,” said Paul Edmondson, Morecambe Road head teacher.
A temporary boiler had been delivered and engineers were on site on Tuesday setting it up.
It is hoped the school will be open on Wednesday and an announcement is due later today.
Mr Edmondson also thanked parents and staff for their support during the closure.
He said after the floods on Thursday: “The school itself is a little island in a field of water that’s not going away.”
Mr Edmondson said the county council had been contacted to ask whether the new road had caused the problem.
Elaine Singleton, who lives on Torrisholme Road, said last week that flooding had only occurred this badly in the vicinity since the link road was built.
“The route of the road was marshland and any excess rain always drained away into it,” she said.
“Now the marsh has gone and the water finds other places to go.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said “The Bay Gateway was designed to current standards and the scheme had to meet checks in place as part of the planning process upon its impact on the surrounding environment.
“The main cause of the flooding in Lancaster last week was the very intense rainfall, recorded as being the highest in a 24 hour period in more than 50 years, and we believe there is nothing to suggest that the Bay Gateway’s drainage systems contributed to flooding in the surrounding area.
“However, following the concerns raised by Morecambe Road School, we are due to carry out inspections this week to ensure that drainage ditches along the road are clear and working as they should be.”
Meanwhile residents of Low Lane, Mattock Crescent, Michaelson Avenue and adjacent roads in Torrisholme have set up a ‘Low Lane Flood Action Group’ and will be meeting with Lancashire County Council after flooding hit the area for the third time this year.
They will be having an open meeting for all affected and interested residents after the meeting with the council to decide upon next actions.
Councillor Charlie Edwards said: “Across the Lancaster District, I would urge residents to come together to find small groups that are concentrated to the immediate vicinity of where you are affected, and make representations to both councils that they need to change their flood, risk management and planning policies to avoid this kind of flooding in the future.”