A NEW flood risk strategy highlights continuing risks to towns and villages across East Lancashire.

Darwen, Whalley, Ribchester, Padiham and parts of Pendle have been repeatedly inundated after heavy rainfall in recent years.

The analysis is in the new Joint Lancashire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy adopted by Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board on Thursday.

It looks at the continuing risks across the county.

In Blackburn with Darwen it says: "The primary source of flooding is from the Rivers Darwen and Blakewater.

"The heavily urbanised nature of the catchment in conjunction with the steep and narrow nature of the watercourses results in a rapid response to heavy rainfall events.

"The confined nature of the channel, a result of historical development that closely borders the watercourse, and the presence of numerous structures means there is an inadequate capacity within the watercourse resulting in flooding of surrounding land."

In Hyndburn it says: "The topography means the area is at high risk of surface water flooding with high velocity, shallow flooding of streets and widespread flooding of valley bottoms.

"Flash flooding is likely to represent a significant hazard.

"Historic culverts may be in poor condition. Blockage or collapse of a culvert can result in deep, fast flowing flooding."

In Ribble Valley it highlights the Strategic Mitigation Plan for Whalley but warns: "The Forest of Bowland has steep topography. Steep areas produce surface water events that are characterised by shallow but high velocity flows. The onset is short, with a small amount of time between the rainfall and surface flows. The rapid nature makes it difficult to react to incidents.

"Many watercourses within villages and larger settlements have been culverted. This has introduced pinch-points which can increase the risk of flooding in extreme events."

In Rossendale it highlights the current Irwell Vale and Strongstry flood risk management schemes but says: "There is a long history of flooding in the upper reaches of the River Irwell catchment to

which the majority of the land drains. Surface water flooding has been regularly experienced and levels in the watercourses rise rapidly in response to rainfall events."

In Burnley it highlights current flood mitigation schemes in Padiham, Lowerhouse Lane, and Manchester Road, Dunnockshaw but warns: "Flooding is likely to occur with little warning but likely to be short in duration.

"Flooding of this kind can be hazardous to people as a result of the velocity of flows channelled down roads and around buildings."

In Pendle it says: "Flooding is likely to occur with little warning but likely to be short in duration.

"Flooding of this kind can be hazardous to people and road transport may be affected.

"Minor watercourses within culverts in densely developed urban areas are a risk if there were to be a collapse or blockage."