Environment Secretary visits flood-hit Ottery

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman met flood victims in Ottery St Mary yesterday.

Ms Spelman spoke of the importance of flood prevention schemes during her visit.

One of the culverts she was taken to protected 60 nearby properties in Thorne Farm Way from water entering their homes last Friday.

Ms Spelman also spoke about how important social media had become as a way of warning residents as she thanked staff at the Met Office in Exeter for the work they have been doing to warn people about the bad weather.

East Devon District Council’s StreetScene staff were out in force all over the District from the start, tackling the problems as they arose. Leader of the Council, Paul Diviani, said: “I am very proud of their dedication and community spirit and the resilience of our communities who were also fully involved in the clear up.

“And a special thanks must go to John Golding and the Housing Team for ensuring that those who had to evacuate their homes were found shelter in the emergency centres and with family and friends.

“Whilst emergencies are not a pleasant experience, it is reassuring to know help is at hand. We shall be having a wash up meeting today to review the operation and learn from the experience to ensure our response in the future is the best.”

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The Environment Agency has encouraged people to check its website, Twitter feed and Facebook pages. Its flood line service on 0845 9881188 can also provide advice.