7 Dec 2010

New flood warning codes

Last night I went to a meeting at Ebley Mill about the new flood codes - was slightly shocked that only 5 Parish Councillors, flood wardens and water course wardens there in total - and I was the only District councillor. It was an icey evening and I hope it was that rather than lack of interest that kept folk away....especially as Parishes are meant to be putting together the local emergency plans....

We had a talk from the Environment Agency which covered the new flood warning codes - you can see them here and above. In the last two years Gloucestershire has had 140 severe flood warnings under the old system - now a flood warning means something slightly different - basically that we need to take action whereas before there were still some questions as to whether flooding would occur and how serious it would be.

You can read more about how to be prepared for a flood, check for floods around the country and how to sign up for alerts here. The system does seem to be significantly improved. I asked about how implementation of the codes were going locally and it seems all flood risk households will have had a letter and will have been signed up to telephone alerts unless they have opted out. The EA have also done talks like this one at various places.

However as a resident pointed out last night we should be doing more to reduce the likelihood of flooding occurring in the first place. That wasn't the focus of this talk but it is frustrating that the various agencies are not more publicly saying let's work together on solutions and involving local residents...yes I know the District Council are considering our submissions from the local water groups to develop a more comprehensive flood catchment strategy, yes the County have improved plans in place and yes the EA are working......indeed yes lots is going on but I would love to see more work done on attenuation, identifying areas like water meadows that wont be built on etc etc....Plus we need to do more in the aftermath of floods - in the recent workshop I attended in Bristol (see here) one of the key issues was the support afterwards in dealing with various agencies. But hey must dash or will be late for work...

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