flooding is a never-ending challenge according to The Environment
Agency. The real question is: When will there be another flood?
There are four reasons for this:
strange as it may sound, Britain is tilting. The East Coast is
literally sinking into the sea at a rate of 150mm every 100 years.
change may cause sea levels to rise.
is increased stormy weather predicted.
Powerful wave surges of about one metre are sweeping across the
coast three or four times a year.
Woodcock, the Environment Agency's Anglian regional director, said:
"Understandably, people want to know if this is likely to happen
is important to recognise that the weather conditions on the fateful
night of Saturday 31 January 1953 were very unusual. While surges
sweep the coast three or four times a year, they rarely coincide
with high tides and bad weather as they did in 1953.
are much better protected today but we should not be complacent.
We can manage the risk but we can never eliminate it.
PEOPLE STILL AT RISK?
about 300,000 properties in the Anglian region are located in areas
at risk from flooding.
to the Environment Agency the risk of a disaster on the scale of
the 1953 floods has been significantly reduced due to the billions
of pounds spent on flood defence and warning systems.
important lessons have been learned which should help to prevent
1989 the National Rivers Authority was formed to oversee flood defence
in England and Wales.
Environment Agency, set up in 1996, now takes responsibility for
flood defence and flood warning. In 1953 there wasn't a national
body in charge of our rivers and coastlines.
The Met office have set up the Storm Tide Forecasting Service (STFS)
to provide a 24-hour forecast of coastal flooding and wave activity.
Therefore we should have more time to prepare for the effects of
ARE WE FIGHTING THE FLOODS?
- The Environment Agency monitors our rivers, seas and weather
conditions 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year.
- There are 34,000 km of river and coastal defences in place
across England and Wales.
- The Environment Agency spends nearly £400 million each
year on flood defence. Since 1953 the Agency has invested over
£1 billion around the Anglian Region.
- Over the next 10 years over £200 million will be invested in
the region to provide better flood protection.
- The Anglian Region covers 1350 km of coastline from the River
Humber to the Thames. Regionally £72 million will be spent in
2003/2004 to help reduce the risk by maintaining existing flood
defences, building new flood defences and providing a flood warning
- The Agency's advance warning system aims to provide people
with a minimum of two hours warning of imminent flooding.
- Those in high risk areas can sign up for the Environment Agency’s
advance warning system (phone the Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or
log on to www.environment-agency.gov.uk)
Environment Agency provides a flood warning system. This consists
of the following codes:
Watch - Flooding possible. Be aware! Be prepared! Watch
Warning - Flooding
expected affecting homes, businesses and main roads. Act now!
Flood Warning - Severe flooding expected. Imminent danger
to life and property. Act now!
Clear - An all clear will be issued when flood watches or
warnings are no longer in force.
flood warnings can be found on the Environment Agency's website.