Following a significant flood event in Mevagissey in November 2010, the Environment Agency introduced a pilot flood warning service which relayed flood risk information to volunteer flood wardens to disseminate out to the community.
Back in 2010, 100 homes in Meva were evacuated, as people were trapped in their homes (and cars) in up to 2 metres of water following gale force winds and heavy rain. Businesses also suffered extensive damage.
With over 5.2 million homes at risk of flooding in the UK, the cost of a flooding event is immense. The average cost of flooding to a damaged home is £30,000 and to a business is £82,000. The cost of temporary accommodation while the work is done is often around £10,000 and repair work takes up to 5 months on average.
The new flood warning service is a significant improvement in the level of service being offered, with the ability to contact those residents at flood risk directly. This provides more time for the community to take action to protect themselves and their property – crucial in an area that is at risk of flash flooding.
Over 160 properties will be auto-registered to receive flood warnings for the Mevagissey Stream.
Flood warnings tell people about an imminent risk of flooding to their home or business and help people make informed decisions about how to respond. There are 3 types of warning – Flood Alert, Flood Warning and Severe Flood Warning. Each warning type is triggered by particular weather, river or sea conditions which cause flooding.
Householders are encouraged to prepare if they receive a Flood Alert which could mean packing a bag that includes medicines, insurance documents and anything else they wouldn’t want to lose if flooding were to take place. A Flood Warning calls on people to act now which means turning off gas, water and electricity and moving family and pets to safety. A Severe Flood Warning means you are in immediate danger and to follow advice from emergency services.
Helen Dobby Environment Agency Area Director said:
We know the devastating impact that flooding can have, which is why protecting people and communities is our top priority.
However, the climate emergency means we cannot prevent all flooding – so we’re working to make communities resilient to future flooding.
We want to ensure that everyone has as much time as possible to prepare for flooding which is why we’re pleased that people in Mevagissey will now be able to receive our free flood warning service.
Home and business owners will be auto enrolled to the flood warning service via their mobile network. However, to get the most benefit out of the service the Environment Agency is encouraging people to register directly with them by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188, or visiting https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings where they can register preferred contact details.