Saturday, April 23, 2011

UK village concerned that 1953 floods are preventing investment in their area

This is Grimsby (UK): Villagers living on a flood plain claim events of more than half a century ago are preventing growth and investment in their area. A debate took place at North Somercotes Village Hall when the Environment Agency gave local residents a presentation on flood mapping and explained more about why the village is considered a flood risk.

But residents claimed the agency were using "scare mongering tactics" and one person claimed the agency is still being hard on the village because of the 1953 flood. John Ray, flood risk mapping and data manager of the Environment Agency, said they advise East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) with regard to development based on the flood maps they have.

The maps are created by aerial surveys of the flood plain which shows that North Somercotes, and the land around it, is below sea level. The maps also take into account which areas could be at risk of flooding if the area's sea defences were breached by a surge tide.

He said: "If sea levels rise as the Government say they will, the risk of a breach goes up significantly. Any big development would have a risk to it over 100 years if climate change occurs." The agency said they are not against developments in a flood plain if they meet local need, but they need to be safe for the life of the property and not put others at risk.

Mike Dugger, coastal manager, said: "The area will always be at risk of flooding, we cannot give a guarantee the sea defences will not be overtopped or fail. But what you have got in this area is among the best sea defences in the country outside of London….

Donna Nook - Ship heading into the Humber Salt marsh, bombing range and in the distance the main shipping channel into the Humber. Shot by Helen Hanley, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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