Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge MP James Heappey is encouraging members of the public living in low-lying and coastal areas to have a plan to protect themselves and their property from flooding as the weather turns and winter sets in.
Speaking after storms brought heavy rain and flooding to Somerset in recent weeks, Mr Heappey warned that it was a timely reminder of the risks we face in the area.
Following a recent visit to the ‘Flooding on the Levels Action Group’ (FLAG) in Burrowbridge, Mr Heappey joined Burnham North County Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton in visiting Burnham’s coastal defences along with the rivers and drains inland, and discussed the preparedness of the local area in the event of further heavy rainfall and high tides.
“I thought the rhynes, drains and rivers coped very well with Storm Angus and whilst there is still some water on the fields in some parts of the Wells Constituency, water levels in the drainage system were mostly kept at manageable levels despite the heavy rainfall,” said Mr Heappey.
“The Environment Agency were quick to switch on the pumps, provided timely updates on their plans for dealing with the water and accelerated the lowering of water levels to winter penning. I think the dredging completed in recent months was also proven to be most helpful.”
However, despite the positive views on the management of Storm Angus, Mr Heappey and Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton were keen to encourage local residents to make sure they were ‘Flood Aware’.
Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton added: “The Burnham area faces the dual threat of coastal flooding as well as floods from heavy rainfall inland. Progress continues to made with flood prevention measures in the Burnham area but there will always be a risk and so it pays to be properly prepared.”
“Local residents should sign up for the Environment Agency’s flood alerts on the Floods Destroy website and should look at what simple precautions they could take as part of their personal flood action plan. When high tides and heavy seas are due residents will also be also be able to access sandbags funded by the council to protect their properties.”
Mr Heappey added: “Forecasting is now really good and our drainage system and coastal defences are in much better shape too, but floods can still happen and sometimes they can happen quickly. Just knowing the safest route to higher ground and having a few blankets, clothes and essentials easily at hand in case the home has to be left in a hurry could make a big difference.”
Flood risk levels and advice on how to prepare for flooding can be found on the ‘Floods Destroy’ website here which is also available on mobile devices.