Affect of freak floods greater than expected says Environment Agency

PUBLISHED: 12:26 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:34 17 June 2010

THE Environment Agency s initial investigation into the flooding in East Devon last week has found that its scale and extent is much bigger than first thought. Action is well underway in response to the event. Over 250 properties are now known to have flo

THE Environment Agency's initial investigation into the flooding in East Devon last week has found that its scale and extent is much bigger than first thought. Action is well underway in response to the event.

Over 250 properties are now known to have flooded in over 20 communities across the area. Places affected include: Ottery St Mary, Feniton, West Hill, Stoke Canon, Kentisbeare, Talaton, Whimple, Venn Ottery, Tipton st John, Newton Poppleford, Otterton, Budleigh Salterton, Fenny Bridges, Harpford, Rockbeare, Leathermill, Payhembury, Awliscombe, Taleford, Cadhay, Fluxton and Alfington.

The flooding followed a localised rain and hail storm with around 100m (4 inches) of rain falling in six hours on the night of October 29/30.

Flooding resulted from a range of sources including rivers, streams, ditches, drains, road and fields.

'The scale and suddenness was remarkable," said Gordon Trapmore, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager for Devon and Cornwall.

"The response of the community has been brilliant and we want to work with everyone involved to address issues the floods have raised."

Action already taken by the Environment Agency includes:

* debris and blockages (including two cars in the Furzebrook in Ottery St Mary) have been removed from

watercourses.

* checks have been made to ensure flood defence schemes were not damaged in the event.

* surveys have been carried out on flooded areas.

* data (ie river levels, rainfall) has been collected to inform our understanding of the event.

* a public 'drop-in' surgery has been organised next Wednesday (November 12) at The Tumbling Weir Hotel in Ottery St Mary from 12.00 noon - 8.00pm. Anyone affected by the East Devon flood can come along and tell us about their experience.

The Agency is working with a wide range of partners including East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Ottery Town Council on this and many other aspects of the flood event.

"We are now moving from the immediate response stage of the emergency to actively pursuing how we can make further improvements to minimise flood risk in the area,'" said Mr Trapmore.

"We are totally committed to working with local residents and all our partner public bodies to do as much as we can in the aftermath of this terrible flood.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald