Environment Agency flood alert service sign-up doubles

  • 21 July 2012
  • From the section Wales
Caravan park in flood
Image caption A further 100 properties have signed up for the warning system since the June floods

The number of properties signed up to a free flood warning service provided by the Environment Agency has more than doubled in two years in Wales.

The agency said the figures had risen from 47,000 in 2010 to 101,000.

Its floodline warnings direct service sends a phone, text, fax, email or pager message to householders and businesses at risk from flooding.

During last month's heavy rain in Ceredigion and Gwynedd, nearly 400 properties received warnings.

The agency said a further 100 properties signed up for the service during last month's floods.

The alert system aims to give people time to take action to protect their homes and businesses from floodwater.

The news comes more than six weeks after northern parts of Ceredigion were left underwater following heavy rainfall, which caused damage to properties and holiday homes.

The deluge affected more than 1,000 people, with 150 people rescued and 75 properties damaged.

Chris Mills, the director of Environment Agency Wales, said: "During the flooding in Ceredigion and Powys our flood defences protected 455 properties from flooding.

"Last month we completed another flood scheme in Newport which will defend an additional 400 properties.

"But, as we saw in June when heavy rain disrupted the lives of hundreds of people in mid Wales, the threat of flooding can never be completely eliminated.

"Indeed, climate change predictions indicate that this threat is likely to increase in the future.

"This is why receiving early warnings vital to protect yourself and your belongings from flooding."

Vulnerable residents

The agency's flood awareness Wales campaign, which has been running for just two years, has informed more than 71,000 people about flood risks and how they can prepare.

In this time it has helped nearly 300 communities and businesses to prepare a flood plan.

It said it had also introduced a community flood wardens scheme.

The wardens are responsible for organising communities in the event of flooding, setting up a central meeting point for residents if they are forced out of their homes, checking up on vulnerable residents and providing general support.

The agency says people living in flood risk areas can sign up to receive free flood warnings on 0845 988 1188 or via its website to see if free flood warnings are available in their area.

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