There is a history of flooding in Northamptonshire. However, one of the worst floods happened in recent years. In 1998, heavy rainfall fell on already water-logged ground and caused serious flooding in the county.
On 10 April 1998, Northampton and the surrounding areas were flooded due to very heavy rainfall and rivers overflowing. Around 4,200 properties were affected causing over £75 million worth of damage. Many of these properties were commercial properties and critical infrastructure was also affected. Towns, villages and agricultural land in Northamptonshire were severely damaged by the flooding. In the town of Northampton alone, over 2,500 properties were flooded, two people died, and 150 people were treated in hospital for flood related injuries and hypothermia. The worst flooding was in the St James and Far Cotton areas.
As a result of the Easter Floods, the flood defences on the River Nene through central Northampton were upgraded. They now provide the town with one of the best flood defences in the country. Further work has also been completed elsewhere on the River Nene.
The improvements built along the River Nene after 1998 have helped to protect several communities from flooding since, including Weedon, Kislingbury, Northampton town centre, Thrapston and Geddington.
Northamptonshire County Council now runs an award-winning website that advises residents on flood risk and prevention, and what to do in an emergency.