Close knit communities have a key role to play in future flood prevention- National Flood Forum

PUBLISHED: 09:08 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:55 17 June 2010

OTTERY S close-knit community has a key role to play in learning lessons from and preventing a repeat of October's weather chaos according to a flood charity.

OTTERY'S close-knit community has a key role to play in learning lessons from and preventing a repeat of October's weather chaos according to a flood charity.

The National Flood Forum was in town earlier this month to offer support and advice to victims of the unforgettable events of October 30.

Representative Heather Shepherd praised Ottery's community spirit and said many residents fearful of a repeat wanted to be more involved in the prevention process.

She added: "What has come across loud and clear to me is the wish of the community to be listened to and involved with any discussions and decisions that are made towards flood mitigation.

"The locals are experts on what happens and why, this needs to be harnessed and used in conjunction with other findings to help towards forming the bigger picture of what happened and what can be done for the future.

"I have had a long meeting with the Environment Agency who are working hard to look into all known affected areas, gathering information so that they can explore all possible avenues that would help communities."

Residents who have encountered problems with their insurance companies have been encouraged to contact the charity.

Mrs Shepherd added: "The Stress caused by flood water in your home is bad enough, the last thing people want to then start dealing with is the added stress caused by inattentive insurance companies. We can usually successfully sort out any problems.

"Flooding affects people in so many different ways and they shouldn't feel that they are expected to cope because there will be times when they feel that they are not and this is normal and a reasonable reaction considering the trauma that flooding causes."

The NFF can be contacted at www.floodforum.org.uk or on (01299) 403055/101 or (01743) 741725. Further information is available from the Ottery Tourist Information Office.

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