Ringing endorsement for Agency flooding plans
The Environment Agency has announced that church bells will be the back-up warning for flooding in Starcross, Devon.
Working with the Starcross Flood Group, St Paul’s Church and flood wardens, a unique plan has been created for the village if the traditional electronic flood warning service fails.
The idea to use the 18th and 19th century bells in St Paul’s Church was put forward by Megan Debenham, the flood group co-ordinator for Starcross. Community fundraisers and funding from the Environment Agency has helped restore the bells and surrounding masonry to their former glory, and the bells returned to their tower on Tuesday 19 February 2019.
Jane Fletcher-Peters of the Environment Agency said: “As well as building flood defences, we also work with communities to create a flood plan – a set of actions for people to follow in the event of flooding.”
“These plans always have a contingency for warning residents. While flood wardens knocking on doors is the most obvious solution, if flooding is at night, then residents could be asleep or wary of answering the door. So, we work together to find practical solutions such as shining car headlights into houses and making people aware if that is accompanied by knocking, it could be a flood warden at the door.”
There are currently 5.2m homes and businesses in England at risk of flooding, and the Environment Agency monitors flood risk and issues alerts and warnings accordingly. To check your flood risk and find out what to do if flooding is expected in your area, visit bit.ly/1nPt8tS