Region prepares for flooding amid storms

Roy Riley ( captured this incredible image of waves battering Westward Ho! durin

Roy Riley ( captured this incredible image of waves battering Westward Ho! during the stormy weather on Saturday evening. - Credit: Archant

Parishes told to prepare flood plans at meeting sandwiched between two storms.

A CRUNCH meeting sandwiched between two of the worst storms North Devon has seen for years has said the region must prepare for future flooding.

On Saturday night gale force winds brought huge waves crashing into coastal towns, just a week after the St Jude storm brought flooding and fallen trees.

In Ilfracombe, parts of the sea wall on the promenade footpath by the Landmark were destroyed with North Devon Council investigating repair works.

The storms came a day after councillors from the parishes affected by widespread flooding last year were told they must prepare flood action plans for the future.

You may also want to watch:

The flooding seminar at Filleigh Village Hall on Friday heard from experts from Devon County Council, the Environment Agency and emergency services.

They told councillors that volunteers should be given designated roles and an action plan should be drawn up to help in any recovery operations.

Most Read

The seminar also heard how the flood defences in Braunton were currently being ‘tweaked’ and a full investigation into the village’s drainage was being undertaken.

But some parishes, such as Bishops Tawton, said they felt left behind after submitting a 330 page flood plan to the Environment Agency only to receive no response.

Chris Verney, representing the parish council at the seminar, said: “All we got was a one page letter saying you’d attend to matters.

“When all the water runs off the streams it comes straight into the River Taw at Bishops Tawton.

“The Taw is full of silt – a major programme is required regarding the drainage of water out to the sea.

“The Taw hasn’t been dredged for 20 years and before it stopped there was nowhere near this much flooding.”

Both the Environment Agency and Devon County Council said they were doing what they could with the money they had, but major works would need extra funding.

Ben Byrom, flood warden for Braunton, said: “It seems to me funding is an issue here – we need to know who we can lobby to try to get these funds.”

A draft local flood risk management strategy is now being drawn up by Devon County Council and will go to public consultation at the end of the month.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter