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Derbyshire communities urged to know right actions to take in a flood

The Environment Agency has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of actions communities in the Erewash area of Derbyshire can take to prepare for flooding.

Residents in areas including Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Stanton by Dale will receive information leaflets through their doors in the coming weeks and posters will be on display in the community urging people to know what actions to take if the area was to be impacted by flooding. There will also be digital content promoting the campaign on social media and online.

Most of these communities have not flooded for several decades, largely thanks to flood barriers built in the 1980s. However, while flood defences are very effective at protecting properties when water levels rise, no defence can provide a guarantee against flooding and everyone is recommended to know what to do in the event of a flood.

Flooding can cause up to £30,000 of damage to a home, and can result in mental health impacts, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for those affected. Preparing before a flood, and knowing what to do if it happens, can reduce these significant impacts. However, most people who could flood in the future are unaware of the risk and are unprepared.

Paul Lockhart, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the East Midlands said:

While most of the Erewash communities have thankfully not experienced river flooding in recent years, there is still a risk that properties in these areas could flood.

We’re seeing more extreme weather due to climate change and in the past year alone we’ve had 3 named storms in a week, record-breaking temperatures and drought declared across large parts of the country.

The best way to be prepared is to sign up for flood alerts and to have a flood plan in place so you know what to do should the worst happen.

People in these communities are being urged to visit the Plan Ahead for Flooding page on GOV.UK to find out what actions they can take to prepare, including:

  • Packing a bag with essentials like spare medication and important documents
  • Making a note of key contact details such as your insurance company and local support services including Erewash Borough Council and local NHS services.
  • Sign up for flood warnings that warn of flooding from rivers, seas and groundwater.

Through the campaign, the Environment Agency has partnered with organisations who work hard to help local communities prepare for and deal with the impacts of flooding - from emergency response through to mental health support, including Erewash Borough Council and local NHS services.

Councillor Garry Hickton, Lead Member for Environment at Erewash Borough Council, says:

While Erewash has fortunately not seen any serious flooding for several years, we must work to prepare residents as the risk of flooding is always present.

This last year has seen the impact of climate change more than ever with extreme weather and temperatures across the nation. All communities, including Erewash, should be aware of the current environmental risks and take steps to prepare for all eventualities.

The best way for residents to prepare is to sign up for flood alerts, create a flood plan, and read the vital information spread by the Flood Action campaign.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Group Manager David Diggins added:

Nobody wants to experience flooding as it can be a frightening and traumatic experience, however there are things that people can do to mitigate the impact. Preparing a personal or business flood plan, signing up for flood warnings, and ensuring you know where to access support are invaluable.

While there isn’t always something the Fire and Rescue Service can do to help if flood water continues to enter a property, always call 999 where there is either a risk to life, or danger due to flooding affecting electrics which can’t be safely isolated.

The Environment Agency has provided new flood warnings for a further 400 flood-risk homes and businesses along the River Erewash over the last year.  More than 130 high-risk properties have been targeted and can now receive a notification when flooding is expected.

This is part of a nationwide effort to provide all properties at high risk of flooding with a flood warning.  More than 50,000 homes and businesses have benefitted from the expansion over the last 2 years, including many based in rural and remote locations.

Innovative technologies were developed to extend the warnings to these hard-to-reach locations using small, solar-powered equipment to monitor rainfall and river levels.

Thanks to the scheme, more flood-risk properties, businesses and livelihoods, will be able to benefit from the valuable warning service and reduce the harm from flooding this winter.

Residents are also encouraged to contact the Environment Agency if they do experience river flooding. This means that officers can investigate possible cause of flooding such as blockages or a build-up of silt in rivers or streams and take action to prevent further flooding.

People can report flooding via the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Residents can also call Floodline for advice on 0345 988 1188 (Textphone: 0345 602 6340) which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Background

The wards targeted in the campaign are:

  • Long Eaton Central
  • Wilsthorpe
  • Derby Road West
  • Nottingham Road
  • Sawley
  • Sandiacre and Kirk Hallam
  • Stanton by Dale

The Government has invested £500,000 on schemes in Erewash, better protecting 660 homes.

More schemes are planned involving Erewash, including:

  1. Erewash Flood Cell River Erewash Asset Renewal
  2. Ilkeston Flooding Strategy
  3. Greater Nottingham Asset Improvement Strategy

Case study

Kevin and Ellen Lucas experienced the devastation of flooding first hand when their home in the Derbyshire village of Makeney flooded in November 2019.

Their 260 year old cottage is situated 50 metres from the River Derwent which rose after a period of heavy rain.

Kevin said:

On the day we flooded it was a sunny day but there had been a couple of recent storms and water had come down from further up the river. We have a septic tank and when the water levels rise it gets overwhelmed and rises up through the pipes.

Water started to come up through the drainage system across the floor of the cottage. We had about 3 inches of water across the whole of the downstairs of the house.

Kevin and Ellen swept the water through the house throughout the day and a pump was used to remove some of the water.

The water receded by the evening leaving a residue of silt through the downstairs of the house.

Kevin said:

It was all up the walls and soaked into the skirting boards and into the wooden floor. We had managed to get some things upstairs but the sofa was damaged.

It has taken months to refurbish the house and it caused a lot of disruption. We had an industrial dehumidifier to dry it out and needed to have a complete refurbishment of the plaster and skirting boards.

Kevin said this was the first time they had flooded in the 12 years they have lived in the house.   

We are more aware of flooding now and we applied for a grant to fit some flood resilience measures such as one way valves and a rainwater drain to stop water coming back up from the drains.

We’ve had a couple of scares since but we haven’t flooded again. We make sure we monitor the river levels and are signed up to flood alerts.

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

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/derbyshire-communities-urged-to-know-right-actions-to-take-in-a-flood

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