Environment Agency
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Campaign launched to raise flood awareness in Weston-super-Mare

The Environment Agency has launched a campaign in Weston-super-Mare to raise awareness of flooding and inform residents of simple steps they can take to prepare.

The Environment Agency will deliver localised communications and a series of free informational drop-in events to help residents in Weston understand how to prepare for flooding and where to access support if they need it.

The campaign over the next few weeks will focus on the following wards within Weston-super-Mare: Central, Hillside, South Ward, Winterstoke, Uphill, Milton, Mid Worle, North Worle and South Worle. Kewstoke, including Sand Bay, is also included.

Information leaflets will be delivered to households. People will be able to spot posters around the town, reminding them of their flood-risk, helping them to prepare for flooding and directing them to support.

A series of free drop-in events will also be held across Weston during January and February. Residents are encouraged to come and speak with specialists from the Environment Agency and North Somerset Council about flooding and actions they can take to prepare and protect themselves.

Few of these communities have experienced significant flooding in recent years. This is due in large part to the network of embankments, sand dunes and flood walls protecting the town, maintained and operated by the Environment Agency and North Somerset Council.

However, while flood defences are very effective at protecting properties when water levels rise, no defence can provide a guarantee against flooding. The recent Babet, Ciaran and Henk storms have shown the devastating impact that flooding can have on communities and businesses. Everyone should know what to do in the event of a flood.

More than 27,000 properties in and around Weston remain susceptible to flooding from rivers and the sea. By planning ahead and knowing what actions to take, people can significantly reduce the potential impacts of flooding on their homes, businesses, health and wellbeing.

Visit the Flood Action webpage on GOV.UK to learn more about the simple steps to take to prepare for flooding:

  • Plan where to move valuables
  • Know how to turn off gas, electricity and water
  • Pack a bag of essentials in advance

Ron Curtis, Environment Agency flood and coastal-risk manager for its Wessex area, said:

Fortunately, most of our communities in Weston-super-Mare have avoided significant flooding in recent years. Nonetheless, Weston has flooded before and is still at risk.

The aim of our campaign is to raise awareness and increase preparedness for potential flooding across the region. It is important that communities like Weston, with a limited history of flooding but a very real flood-risk, are supported to recognise that risk and prepare for its potential impacts. 

In partnership with North Somerset Council, we are encouraging residents to create a personal flood action plan, to sign up for flood warnings and to attend our free information drop-in events, where they can learn more about their flood risk from local experts from the Environment Agency and the council.

Councillor Annemieke Waite, North Somerset Council’s executive member for climate, waste and sustainability, said:

The serious impact of global warming is already evident. As a council, we recognise that urgent action is needed to avoid temperatures increasing to dangerous levels, which would bring extreme weather, rising sea levels and increased flooding.

As well as working hard to tackle the climate emergency, we’re committed to building a flood resilient North Somerset. I encourage the residents of Weston-super-Mare to get involved with this Environment Agency campaign and attend one of their events to find out more.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Environment Agency for choosing Weston as an area of focus as part of its national campaign. It’s really important for people to be aware of their flood risk and what they should do to prepare for flooding.

Supporting information:

Residents are encouraged to come along to the free drop-in events hosted by the Environment Agency and North Somerset Council throughout January and February:

  • Friday 19 January, 10am-1pm – For All Healthy Living Centre, BS23 3SJ
  • Thursday 25 January, 12.30pm-3.30pm – Town Hall Library, BS23 1UJ
  • Saturday 27 January, 9am-12pm –Weston seafront (between Victorian Café and Beach Café), BS23 1BE
  • Monday 29 January, 2pm-6.30pm – Uphill Victory Hall, BS23 4XG
  • Thursday 1 February, 7pm-8.30pm – Weston Museum, BS23 1PR - book here
  • Friday 2 February, 1pm-4pm – Co-op, Worle High Street, BS22 6HG
  • Monday 5 February, 4.15pm-7pm – Kewstoke Village Hall, BS22 9XB
  • Tuesday 6 February, 11.30am-2.30pm – The Sovereign, BS23 1HL

Weston-super-Mare flood risk and flood protection schemes:

  • There are more than 27,000 properties at risk of flooding from rivers and sea in Weston-super-Mare, Uphill, Kewstoke, and Sand Bay. Flood-risk for large parts of Weston-super-Mare comes from the risk of a storm surge and large waves overtopping defences at Sand Bay. Surface water and fluvial, or river, flood risk are also impacted by tide-lock during high tides.
  • Uphill is also at risk of fluvial flooding from Uphill Great Rhyne, and other areas of Weston-super-Mare are at risk of surface water flooding, when rainfall cannot drain away through existing drainage systems or soak into the ground.
  • The homes and businesses in the town are protected by a network of embankments, sand dunes and flood walls.
  • The Environment Agency operates sluices on Uphill Great Rhyne and the River Axe that prevent high tide water from entering Uphill Great Rhyne and reduce flood risk.
  • There are flood defence walls, including 12 tide gates, along the promenade in Weston-super-Mare. These give extra protection for homes and businesses in the town. North Somerset Council may close the gates in various combinations depending on the level of risk expected.
  • North Somerset Council is investing in restoring the Victorian sea wall near Anchor Head to improve their strength. Find out more in an article published in the September 2023 edition of the council’s email newsletter.
  • The sand dunes at either end of Weston-super-Mare – at Uphill to the south and Sand Bay to the north – also form an important part of the natural sea defences for the surrounding area. More information about the sea defences in North Somerset can be found on the council’s website.
  • Over the last eight years, North Somerset Council has invested over £3.2m in large schemes to reduce flood risk in Wrington and Weston-super-Mare, at Summer Lane. It spends over £1m a year to maintain road drainage and flood defences. It is also starting to use new techniques such as natural flood management and property level flood resilience to reduce flood-risk in North Somerset. More information about flooding in North Somerset can be found on the council’s website.

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/campaign-launched-to-raise-flood-awareness-in-weston-super-mare

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