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RAF said they were given permission to pump water onto road
WATER pumped away from an electricity substation by the RAF has been causing delays for drivers in Saunderton.
Council workers have been working around the clock to reduce flooding in the village, which has been blighting the area for more than two weeks.
Traffic lights have been put up on the A4010 Wycombe Road at the junction with Slough Lane.
Yesterday it was revealed staff at RAF High Wycombe were given permission by Transport for Bucks (TfB) to pump water away from the Saunderton substation onto the road to go into storm drains to avoid power outage.
TfB, Bucks County Council's Highways Agency, has been in Saunderton 24 hours a day to alleviate the floodwater using a static pump and two 30,000 litre tankers.
Mike Blackwell, who lives at Deanfield Close, said on Wednesday evening one of the pumps broke down and flood water rose rapidly. By 10.30pm another one was in place.
He said: "The tankers have been brilliant. If it wasn't for them we would be wearing flippers."
He said there have been lengthy queues during rush hour due to the traffic lights, and council workers have had to stop traffic for the large number of ambulances which use the road.
He said: "People said it was a bad idea to move the A&E to Stoke. The main road connects the whole of Bucks.
"It is the main join up point for traffic on the motorways.
"If this road gets closed because of flooding it is going to be absolute mayhem."
Dan Elworthy, a spokesman for TfB, said until water levels subside, they are unable to determine the source of the flooding.
The council has provided 550 sandbags for residents and built sandbag walls.
He said: "Traffic lights remain on the A4010 to manage traffic in a safe manner whilst flood water remains on the carriageway.
"All the above measures are to try to ensure that part of this key road is kept open whilst flooding occurs, as well as helping the local residents affected by this event."
An MOD spokesman said: "On Friday staff at RAF High Wycombe became aware that the water level within Saunderton Sub-Station was rising, risking power supply to both the RAF station and Saunderton village.
"In order to avoid a power outage it was decided, with the permission of Buckinghamshire highways agency (Transport for Bucks), to pump the excess water onto the road to allow storm drains to transport it away.
"On Sunday staff were advised by the highways agency that the drains had reached capacity and pumping was stopped immediately. The water is now being removed using tankers."
However, a statement from a TfB spokesman in reply to this said yesterday: "We cooperated with the MOD for them to alleviate their flooding problem, by discharging excess water in to the adjacent highways ditches, but did not give direct permission to pump directly on to the road."
FURTHER down in Bradenham Road, West Wycombe residents have had to cope with flooding in their back gardens for more than a week.
Helen Fiordelisi said the water comes up to their back door but no-one seems willing to help.
Water was initially pumped away from the Saunderton site towards West Wycombe, until they realised it was affecting householders, and they are now using tankers.
Her sons, 19 and 24, are staying at friends, so the household can use as little water as possible.
Mrs Fiordelisi and her husband, Marcus, had been off work since last Thursday trying to contain the water.
Mr Fiordelisi said his wife went back into work yesterday but he has had to stay at home.
He said: "I am conscious that if it starts raining it will go up again. If there is no one here it will go in the house."
Spokesman for Thames Water, Becky Trotman, said: "Our sewer network has been overwhelmed by floodwater from rivers and groundwater and this has unfortunately led to it backing up and dilute waste water spilling out from manholes."
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