One day in 2017 when Scarborough had enough rain to fill 300 Olympic sized swimming pools

Flooding in Valley Road in August 2017
Flooding in Valley Road in August 2017

An investigation into a major flood that hit Scarborough in 2017 has found that the drainage network in the town was not to blame.

On August 23 2017 Scarborough was deluged by an intense burst of rain which caused flooding damage to more than 130 properties, including homes, schools and businesses.

Streets turned to rivers and roads were broken and distorted as water forced its way out from under the surface.

New figures show that Scarborough got close to its annual August rainfall total in less than one hour on that day.

North Yorkshire County Council, as the Lead Local Flood Authority, has carried out an investigation into what can be learned in the aftermath.

In a report, which will go before its Business and Environmental Services corporate director and executive members meeting next week, it notes that 37.4mm of rain fell in an hour in Scarborough, the majority of it falling in just one 15 minute period.

The 748 million litres of rain was enough to fill 300 Olympic sized swimming pools.

However, the report also concluded that blocked drains were not the cause of the flooding and warns that there is little that can be done to prevent a repeat.

The report adds: “No defects have been reported on the drainage network, and it is not thought that Scarborough’s watercourses played a significant role in the flooding.

“The cause of the flooding was rather that more water fell in Scarborough than the drainage network had the capacity to convey, and the excess duly flowed down through the streets towards the sea.

The report concludes that the county should look at how it can mitigate some of the impacts from flooding and work with Scarborough Borough Council to see if areas including The Mere, Throxenby Mere and land upstream of Edgehill Road could be used to catch water from intense downpours.