East Devon communities encouraged to be flood aware this winter

PUBLISHED: 12:34 04 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:34 04 November 2015

Waves pound the esplanade on Tuesday evening. Ref shs 5110-19-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Waves pound the esplanade on Tuesday evening. Ref shs 5110-19-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Householders in Exmouth, Topsham and Seaton set to benefit from new, improved Environment Agency warnings

Communities in East Devon stand to benefit from improved flood warnings as residents are encouraged to take steps to safeguard property this winter.

The Environment Agency has launched its annual Flood Action Campaign and is urging householders and business to follow advice to reduce the risk to their personal safety and property.

To coincide with the campaign, the agency’s flood warning service has been improved, so anyone at risk of flooding in areas, including Topsham, Exmouth and Seaton, will now receive warnings specific to their local stretch of coastline.

Steps people can follow to help safeguard against flooding include:

1. Check individual flood risk on the Environment Agency’s online maps.

2. Sign-up for free flood warnings by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or by visiting the GOV.UK website.

3. Know what to do if a flood happens.

According to Environment Agency figures, almost 5 million people in England are at risk of flooding – or one in six properties.

Practical advice is available via GOV.UK about what to do to reduce the risk to peoples’ personal safety and property when they receive a flood warning.

This includes moving treasured possessions upstairs and keeping important documents to hand.

Environment Agency flood expert Gordon Trapmore said: “One in six properties in England is at risk of flooding. Many people think that flooding will never happen to them - but it could.”

Michele Dotrice, the popular actress best known for her portrayal of Betty, the long-suffering wife of Frank Spencer in the BBC sitcom ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’, is supporting this year’s campaign.

She said: “Having had the misfortune to experience flooding first-hand and knowing the devastation that this can cause, I am keen to raise awareness of the Flood Action campaign.

“I recently signed up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service and I would strongly encourage others to do the same.”

The winter of 2013 to 2014 was the wettest in England for nearly 250 years but some 1.4 million properties were protected by Environment Agency flood defences.

Further investment means that flood schemes have protected an extra 177,000 properties in the last 4 years.

New flood warnings will be based on improved forecasting techniques.

The Environment Agency has also revised the water levels, and the wind and wave conditions used to trigger these warnings so says customers will receive an enhanced service and more accurate warnings.

To find our more about The Flood Action campaign, visit: www.gov.uk/floodsdestroy.

The Environment Agency is encouraging people to alert friends and family on social media using the hashtag #floodaware.

Visit Twitter and Facebook to get involved.

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