Turnstone - Flood risk 2012 - reassurances from the Environmental Agency
One of the most poignant moments on November 10 came at the Flood Memorial when the names of the victims were read out and a wreath was laid.
Some of the younger victims were my former classmates at Hunstanton Primary School where the head teacher, George James was called upon to identify their bodies, which must have been a dreadful experience, even for a man who had experienced much worse as a prisoner of the Japanese army in World War II.
We know from the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy that coastal areas throughout world will always be vulnerable to flooding caused by tidal surges.
This led me ask the Environment Agency (EA) what measures are now in place to prevent the loss of life experienced in 1953. The answers are reassuring for those living on the flood plain.
The EA maintain flood defences along the coast, which are maintained and managed by staff based at Kings Lynn.
The EA is also responsible for warning the public if there is a risk of flooding, using a system called Floodline Warnings Direct.
This sends messages by landline telephone, mobile telephone, and SMS text, to customers with homes or businesses in specified flood risk areas.
Flood Alert; Flood Warning; or Severe Flood warning messages are issued depending on the severity of the situation.
Precautionary Evacuation Notice (PEN) was put into place by the EA, Local Authority, Fire and Rescue Service and Police after September 2001 and is unique to this part of the east coast . The PEN gives an early warning message for the area between the front and rear sea defences between Snettisham and Hunstanton, serving some 3500 caravans and temporary dwellings.
PEN signs, warning pedestrians and motorists, are now located along the sea defences and at access points into the area.
These signs are operated by EA Operations Teams, whilst council volunteers and police would move through the area asking residents to evacuate or to prepare for evacuation.
The EA is on call 24/7 monitoring the tidal situation and aims to issue a Flood Warning 12 hours before the high tide.
To find out if you are at risk, or to sign up to Floodline Warnings Direct, visit the EA website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call FLOODLINE on 0845 988 1188
Pictured right, Environment Agency workers with one of the vital anti-flood PEN signs
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for King's Lynn
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North