As some of you will know from personal experience, we have had devastating floods in North Lancashire. On Saturday 5 December the River Lune rose swiftly, and rose and rose. As Saturday turned into Sunday, we were in unchartered territory, the water peaked at nearly 1.5 metres higher than ever recorded.
The door to the turbine house was not this high and the basement flooded, covering turbines and generators.
When the floods subsided, we pumped out the water using a portable generator and then volunteers cleared out a lot of mud. So the building, now with mains power back on, is looking fine.
Engineers from Hydrohrom, who supplied and installed the turbines in the first place, are on site and we are rotating the turbines with new oil in the bearings on Friday 11 December. The generators will go off site to a UK agency to be dried and then returned with a 12 month warranty.
Our greatest problem is not actually the turbine house, it’s the tons of stones and boulders that were brought in by the river and filled the fish screen bay, the fish pass and the outfall. All of this will be removed by heavy machinery and used to fill the holes created by the flood in the ground around the hydro building. We estimate it will be an eight week job, given we have Christmas and New Year approaching.
At least we are insured for repairs and lost revenue, with a relatively small excess to pay.
We do hope that those of you who live locally did not suffer too much in the floods, as some homes in Halton village were badly flooded.