April 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Homeowners in Ipswich’s Waterfront area are facing an anxious evening as a severe flood warning remains in place in the town.
The Environment Agency issued the warning this morning for an area covering the residential part of the Waterfront.
However there are hopes that new flood defences installed over the last five years could protect the town from the worst of the expected flood.
In 2007 a tidal surge raised the level of the River Orwell to only about six inches below the top of the river wall – but officials at the borough were hoping that the new defences installed since then would help to protect properties.
The Environment Agency is currently installing a new flood barrier on the River Orwell – but work on that has only recently started and it is not in use yet.
While officials at the borough are hopeful the town will escape the worst of the storm surge, they are on standby in case there are problems over night – and are working with the Suffolk Resilience Forum to monitor the situation.
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the surge proved why it was so vital for the town to have the £35 million flood barrier installed.
He said: “This is exactly the kind of scenario that the barrier would protect the town against – and with climate change caused by global warming starting to happen, this kind of event will become much more frequent in future years.”
Some residents on the Shotley Peninsula some residents were tonight advised to evacuate their homes as a precaution.
Those living in properties in the Wherstead, Pinmill, Chelmodiston, Shotley and Cattawade are advised to check the Environment Agency website, put in their postcode and review the information published about their area.
Follow the link from here to the Environment Agency’s Flooding page.
Residents are being advised to stay with family or friends where possible.
However, for those for whom that is not possible, Shotley Village Hall will be open from 7pm. Basic packs with bedding will be provided, as will basic beverages. While no food will be available those coming to the Village Hall are quite welcome to bring their own.
The tidal surge is expected around 1am tomorrow morning. If there is no one in attendance at the Village Hall by 2am, the hall will be closed.