King’s Lynn residents urged to attend flood risk awareness event

Lynn's flood defences hold - but only just. The South Quay looking from Marriott's Warehouse towards the Boal Quay. ENGANL00120130512212727

Lynn's flood defences hold - but only just. The South Quay looking from Marriott's Warehouse towards the Boal Quay. ENGANL00120130512212727

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Residents of Lynn are being urged to prepare for a potential flood by attending an awareness event in the town later this month.

A drop-in session will take place at King’s Lynn Minster next Saturday, September 17, between 2 and 6pm.

And officials hope it may lead to the creation of a community flood group in the area.

Although the event is being staged by the St Margaret’s with St Nicholas ward forum, organisers is open to all residents of the town.

The group is working with the Environment Agency (EA) and staff from West Norfolk Council’s emergency planning department to stage the event.

And its chairman, Dr Julian Litten, admitted the tidal surge of December 2013 had served as a wake-up call for them.

He said: “The surge brought home to us all the potential danger of living in the riverside area of King’s Lynn – and all the more so because there had been no serious threat for years and we simply were not used to dealing with one.

“Afterwards we realised how many elderly and infirm people live in the flood risk streets, people who are not best able to cope with a flood-boards, sand bags and the like.

“This led to discussions with EA officials which in turn has brought about this event.”

“We are holding it at the Minster because it lies in the centre of the area and are grateful to Canon Ivory who has agreed to our use of the church. The building itself has, of course, been flooded on numerous occasions.”

The session will offer the chance to register for EA flood warnings, as well as advice on what to do if a flood warning is issued and on basic measures that can be taken to protect property before a flood.

Ben Hornehold, a former internal drainage board chief engineer who now runs Engineering Support Practice at Leziate, will offer specialist advice on how to protect your home.

And there will also be information about alternative flood defence tools to sand bags.

Dr Litten said the group was keen for any resident facing flood risks in the town, particularly in the North Lynn and South Lynn areas, to attend.

He added: “It is important that the authorities know who the people are who are most likely to need help and where they live.”

Tamsyn Ellaway, a flood resilience adviser for the EA, said: “It’s great to see a local community organising this event and raising awareness of flood risk in its area.

“We hope to work with residents to set up a community flood group and develop a flood plan.

“As floods can happen at any time it’s vital that communities and residents are prepared.”