Flood Damage Halts Hydro-Electric Generation

Ludford Mill surrounded by flood water, with our Archimedes Screw chamber submerged below the rising waters of the River Teme.

The impact of Storm Dennis was felt nationwide across the UK last weekend but here in Ludlow, the Environment Agency observed record water levels as the River Teme broke its banks, causing widespread flooding. Official figures indicate the river level peaked at 5.20m at Ludlow around 7pm on Sunday afternoon (16/02/2020); a period that carried a ‘Severe Flood Warning’ at Ludford, the location of our hydro-electric generator. With water levels higher than have been experienced locally since the great floods of 2007, it became inevitable that our hydro operation would be at risk.

We are pleased to report that proactive steps were taken to shutdown the generator plant and to limit the extent of any water damage.  However, with water levels being so high, our team valiantly fought a losing battle with the river. At its peak, our hydro installation was completely submerged, the turbine room flooded and with water ingress to the lower part of our control room. Despite best endeavours we have lost (although may recover), many of the boards that protect the Archimedes Screw but otherwise things are very wet but seem intact.

The River Teme having broken its banks on to Temeside in Ludlow, with our hydro plant completely submerged at Ludford Mill, in the background.

Anthony Shuster, Chairman of the Ludlow Hydro Co-Operative, explains: “We are drying everything out and doing a full assessment with the help of our maintenance company. The hope is that no major damage has been done and that a good drying and cleaning will get us operational again but this is not guaranteed. We will keep all our members informed but we do not expect to be running again for several weeks. Our thoughts are with Clive and Denise, owners of the Mill House, as their home was also severely flooded.”

Further updates will be posted as soon as we have any news to share but, work is already underway to return the hydro generator to full operation, as soon as possible.  In the meantime, many thanks for your continued interest and, for supporting the work of the Ludlow Hydro Co-Operative.