COMMUNITY leaders are calling for a crunch meeting with environment officials over flooding risks in Saltney.
Councillors want to hold a public meeting with the Environment Agency after Balderton Brook, behind River Lane Retail Park, came close to flooding.
Farmers had to move livestock from nearby fields before the water burst its banks last Thursday.
Saltney Stonebridge councillor Veronica Gay said locals are living with a ‘flood risk time bomb.’
She said: “Farmers had to move their livestock from their fields in order to save them from loss. Another farmer was also struggling to save his horses who were trapped and spooked.
“We had a public meeting with the Environment Agency last year where many promises were made, but they have not come to fruition. There has been no repairs or maintenance work.”
Town councillor Derrick Beddow alerted the clerk Alan Thornley to rising water levels, and suspected a pump clogged with weed and silt may have been the cause.
Quick-thinking Mr Thornley informed the Environment Agency, which is responsible for the flood defences and maintenance of the brook.
Cllr Gay is calling for a second public meeting in order to press environment bosses for answers.
She said: “We want to question why a maintenance programme cannot be implemented to reduce the risk of having to live with this threat. We are extremely concerned. The ground is still sodden, even now.
“Enough is enough. What happened last week could have been a real disaster.”
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We began work last September on a £500,000 project to reduce the risk of flooding to people in around 100 properties in Saltney.
“The project includes the replacement of two trash screens at Balderton pumping station which had become difficult and unsafe to clear.
“The screens are vital to prevent debris carried downstream from damaging the pumping station.
“Unfortunately, the company appointed to carry out the work went into administration halfway through the scheme, leaving it unfinished just before a period of heavy rain which led to blockages from weed.
“This, combined with high tides, resulted in the emergency closure of Station Road last week while we pumped water into the River Dee.
“A new contractor resumed the work this week and the pumping station should be operational within two to three weeks.
“The project is due to be completed in May.”