Flood Ark

Kingston-Upon-Hull, United Kingdom

For 2017, the city of Hull has been crowned the ‘UK City of Culture’. Rewind ten years though and the city had coined a very different name – the ‘Forgotten City’. The name came about when the city experienced significant flooding due to unseasonal summer weather overwhelming drainage systems.

On 25th June 2007, hours of rain fell on Hull and the surrounding areas of East Yorkshire. The resulting floods caused more than £40m worth of damage, impacted almost every one of the 98 schools in the city and affected over 10,000 properties. Some residents were still living in temporary accommodation more than a year after the flooding.

The floods occurred at a time when many other parts of the United Kingdom were also experiencing extreme weather. As a result, many local residents felt that Hull did not receive the same level of attention that was being afforded to higher profile areas of the country. For that reason, the council’s then leader, Carl Minns, described Hull as ‘the forgotten city’ and argued that “if this was Chelsea or Fulham [wealthy areas of London], this would have been plastered all over the front pages for weeks”.

In response to those floods, the Pitt Review was published. It looked at the impact of the floods in 2007 and as a result of its findings, more than £50m has since been spent of flood defences in Hull and East Yorkshire. In 2008, Flood Ark were tasked with protecting a number of residential properties in Hull. The Environment Agency has also pledged a further £120m of spending over the next four years to 2021.

In 2011 we won a contract to install flood protection at Reckitt Benckiser Group’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility where they make Nurofen for children, Gaviscon, Dettol and the world supply of Lemsip. As part of their Business Continuity Planning they identified the continuing threat from flooding as a major risk to the factory facility and its 1200 employees. A phased installation programme was agreed whereby we fitted 18 Flood Ark barriers in June, another 3 in October and five more barriers in December 2011. Reckitt Benckiser Group is a British multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, England, as well as its healthcare products other brands include Air Wick, Cillet Bang, Scholl and Durex to name a few.

In March 2017, we returned to their Hull factory to service their 26 barrier systems to ensure that they remain in excellent working condition.