Flood warnings across Leighton Buzzard and homes evacuated as help centres set up in town

Clipstone Brook this morning. Picture: Mike BishopClipstone Brook this morning. Picture: Mike Bishop
Clipstone Brook this morning. Picture: Mike Bishop
There are three red level flood warnings in place and some people have been evacuated

Help centres have been set up in Leighton Buzzard as some people have been evacuated from their homes – and three red level flood warnings remain in place.

The centres have been set up at Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre on Mentmore Road and Meadow Way Community Centre.

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Bedfordshire Police say a number of houses have been evacuated due to flooding in Leighton Buzzard and there are road closures in place on Hockliffe Road at the junction of Brook Street and Appenine Way. Residents have reported that Mill Lane in Great Brickhill has flooded again.

Central Bedfordshire Council is also warning that some schools may be affected by flooding, and roads and paths blocked.

It said: “Do not attempt to drive, cycle or walk through flood water - it can be deeper than it looks. If you are driving through heavy rain turn your headlights on and leave twice as much space between you and the car in front - it takes longer to stop in the wet.”

Have you been affected by the flooding? Get in touch at [email protected]

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue says it has received more than 30 flood-related calls since 8pm yesterday including a few incidents involving people in cars in floodwater.

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Fire crews were deployed in Leighton Buzzard alongside police, Central Bedfordshire Council and emergency volunteers (BLEVEC) after Clipstone Brook burst its banks.

At just before midnight on Thursday, Clipstone Brook measuring station reached its highest levels ever recorded at 2.09 metres, then at 2am this morning, it peaked at 2.31 metres.

Despite numerous properties being impacted, no one needed to be rescued from their property.

Cllr Adam Zerny, leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "Overnight our teams have been monitoring and responding to flooding across Central Bedfordshire alongside the emergency services. We’ve set up assistance centres in Leighton Buzzard for anyone who needs to leave their property, thankfully no one has needed to do this yet and the water levels there are currently subsiding.

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"I’d like to thank the officers, and the amazing emergency volunteers that we work with who have worked through the night to respond to calls for help.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and respond as needed.”

Planets ward town councillor, Mike Bishop, went to check on the state of Clipstone Brook this morning after the heavy downpours. He said: “The flood relief measures carried out a few years ago have done their job and protected the Planets estate. They would also have reduced the flow downstream of Hockliffe Road where, I understand, residents have suffered from flooding. There was still a heavy flow in the ditch that enters the brook just south of Hockliffe Road.

"This is in the flood plain and it is noticeable that Clipstone Brook Lower School was built on raised ground to account for this.”

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He added that it is important to look at whether “their Sustainable Urban Drainage System is actually doing its job”.

Government warnings say flooding is expected in:

Aries Court, North Star Drive, Carina Drive, Hockliffe Road, Capshill Avenue, Waterdell, South Street, Lovent Drive, Steppingstone Place, Billington Road, Globe Lane, Grovebury Road, Hydrus Drive, Phoenix Close, Columba Drive, Willow Bank Walk, Omega Court, Nebular Court, Brookside Walk, Brook Street, Capshill Avenue, Waterdell, Woodman Close, Stepping Stone Place, Linwood Grove, Billington Road and Lindler Court in Leighton Buzzard.

Stapleford Mill, Bragenham Side in Stoke Hammond.

Mill Lane in Great Brickhill.

Flooding is possible along the River Ouzel from Leighton Buzzard to Willen, including Clipstone Brook and Water Eaton Brook.

Across the county there are a number of road closures: The A6 from the Sainsbury's roundabout up to Clapham is also badly flooded. The A507 at Beadlow has now been closed. While The Embankment remains open for now, Oakley bridges, the Felmersham bridge and Harrold bridge are closed. Sheep Lane in Woburn at the Flying Fox roundabout remains passable at the moment but we would encourage people to avoid the area. The road is now closed under the railway bridge in Stewartby after cars got stranded there. Cars have also got stranded in flooding in Great Barford High Street.