Residents quizzed over flood action

Laura Bagshaw RESIDENTS in south Yarmouth were quizzed this week over the action they would take in the event of a major flood. Several people attended Tuesday's Comeunity Forum meeting and were unaware of precautions to take as the risk of major flooding increased in the Environment Agency's three-stage flood warning.

Laura Bagshaw

RESIDENTS in south Yarmouth were quizzed this week over the action they would take in the event of a major flood.

Several people attended Tuesday's Comeunity Forum meeting and were unaware of precautions to take as the risk of major flooding increased in the Environment Agency's three-stage flood warning.

The level of uncertainty prompted Steve Grundell, emergency planning manager at Norfolk County Council, to suggest local councillors and residents work together to produce a community flood plan.


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During the meeting, at St James' Church Hall, residents worked in groups to discuss the various levels of flood warnings issued by the Environment Agency - flood watch; flood warning and severe flood warning.

Mr Grundell advised putting together a simple flood kit containing important documents, a supply of batteries, wind-up radio, first aid kit and medication, which he said could prove invaluable in the case of a major flood.

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Large swathes of south Yarmouth are vulnerable to flooding, as shown on the Environment Agency flood map, and the meeting was held to encourage residents to be better prepared in the case of a major flood.

The Environment Agency has a telephone flood warning system however, Colin Novelle, of Albert Square, said too much emphasis was put on residents having phones, computers and radios, adding flood sirens would be the most effective tool in an evacuation.

Debate in the long-running battle over the future of the flood sirens was extended by four months in March after both the police and Environment Agency insisted they would not use the sirens.

Mr Novelle said: “People are making an assumption that residents have phones, radios and TV's on all the time. If your home has to be evacuated at 2am most people would be asleep, but everyone would respond to a flood siren.”

Several residents questioned the provision of sandbags and Nelson ward councillor Valerie Pettit said people needed to be more aware of where sand stores were in the borough.

Councillor Penny Linden, who represents Southtown and Cobholm, said during the tidal surge in November 2007 several people, including herself, went to the beach to fill up sandbags.

“In Cobholm there are several sand stores but you can't always get the sand because everyone was trying the same thing,” said Ms Linden.

Mr Grundell said he would liaise with colleagues at Yarmouth Borough Council over the issue.

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