Flood risk warning for residents

PEOPLE in Felixstowe are being warned to face up to flood risk - and urged to sign up to a special warning system.

Richard Cornwell

PEOPLE in Felixstowe are being warned to face up to flood risk - and urged to sign up to a special warning system.

Even though �10 million was this year spent on new sea defences, experts say they can never say never when it comes to flooding, especially with more freak storms hitting the UK and rising sea levels.

Much of the low-lying southern part of the seaside town is a flood risk zone and people need to be on their guard this winter.

New figures from the Environment Agency show more than four in ten of the five million people living in areas vulnerable to river and sea flooding in England and Wales are unaware they are at risk

Just nine pc of those in flood-risk areas have found out how to stay safe in a flood, and even fewer - three pc - have prepared a “flood kit” of essential items needed in the event of flooding.

Most Read

The Environment Agency is urging the public to be better prepared, particularly as climate change could see the number of people at the highest risk of flooding rise from 1.5 million to 3.5 million by 2080.

The Environment Agency runs a free service that automatically sends alerts by telephone, mobile, email, text, or fax to registered households as soon as a flood warning is issued and is urging those who are not signed up to call 0845 988 1188. Some 70pc of eligible households have still not yet registered.

Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive of the agency, said: “We've completed 54 new flood defences since June 2007, increasing protection to more than 38,000 homes, but the reality is that we can't always prevent flooding.

“Many people don't believe that the small river or stream at the end of their road could pose a flood risk but it could.

“More people are becoming aware of the risks a flood might pose, but we are encouraging everyone to check our website to see if their house is in a flood risk area and to sign up to our Floodline Warnings Direct service.

“The annual clean up costs of flooding is around �1.1 billion and rising. We all need to face up to flood risk as climate change will dramatically increase the number of homes affected.

“We will continue to invest in managing flood risk, but householders need to play their part by being fully prepared.”

- Are you worried about flooding? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk