Looking Back: When Easter floods engulfed Peterborough

More than two decades ago Easter saw Peterborough hit by some of the worst flooding ever seen in the region.

Monday, 5th April 2021, 9:03 am
Flooding in Wansford over Easter in 1998.
Flooding in Wansford over Easter in 1998.

Easter was later that year and on April 13, 1998, the floods came. A month’s rain fell in just 24 hours as the River Nene burst its banks.

There was misery for many but the experts reckoned Peterborough escaped much worse by the skin of its teeth.

Here is how that Easter unfolded.

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Fast flowing water on Peterborough's Embankment in April 1998.

- Maundy Thursday, April 13:

Flooding started in Alconbury near Huntingdon.

- Good Friday:

9am: The A1 Northbound flooded, as did Bullock Road in Elton, Haddon fly-over, Bishops Road in Peterborough, Tasmin Caravan Park in Eye,

Flooded streets in Peterborough saw hundreds of properties affected in Easter 1998.

Parnwell Way in Peterborough, the A605 in Elton, Windsor Road in Yaxley, Furze Road in Dogsthorpe and Carr Road in Peterborough.

Thorpe Road in Peterborough was under three feet of water.

Noon: A red alert was issued for the River Nene. A city-wide alert was put out warning people of the possibility of evacuations.

- Easter Saturday:

Stamford was also hit by severe flooding over Easter in 1998.

7.30pm: 50 homes in Riverside Gardens and Thorpe Meadows evacuated.

8pm: Police set up a special emergency advice line manned by civilian staff. Temperatures drop to -2 degrees.

- Easter Sunday:

70 people evacuated from Thorpe Meadows. Severe flooding in Elton and Wansford.

A narrow boat submerged by flood waters at Orton Mere in April 1998.

The basement of Bridge Street police station flooded twice and the station had to be abandoned.

Wansford’s Haycock Hotel is flooded. Residents in Gleneagles Road, in Orton Longueville were evacuated.

More city centre residents put on evacuation alert, including those living in Rushmere Gardens, Thorpe Meadows, Riverside Gardens, Thorpe Lea Gardens and Winchester Way – and many more.

The clear-up took many days and subsequent inquiry outlined a programme of work to ensure floods of that severity do not hit the city again.

Residents at Elton did their best to protect properties with sandbags.
The scale of the flooding at Orton Mere in Easter 1998 seen from the air.
A rescue team in Wansford with the flood waters at their height in April 1998.
The Notcutts Garden Centre near Ferry Meadows was also flooded.
The extent of the flooding around Wansford over Easter 1998.
The Water End development near Peterborough's Rowing Lake was also flooded.