'A bit ridiculous': Environment Agency criticised after flood alert delay

potter heigham flooding

Paul Rice, a senior flood warden for NNDC, said overtopping was bad at Potter Heigham, but an Environment Agency flood warning hadn't been put in place initially - Credit: Paul Rice

A senior flood warden has said the Environment Agency's continued failure to "register" flood risks in the Broads' is "getting a bit ridiculous".

On Tuesday, December 1 the Environment Agency issued flood alerts for the River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water and the River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water.

potter heigham

Flooding at Potter Heigham in the Broads - Credit: Paul Rice

But according to North Norfolk District Council senior flood warden Paul Rice, a similar alert for the Rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne was only issued after a "prompt".

He said: "I was surprised not to see a flood alert for the Bure, Ant and Thurne on Tuesday because those rivers feed directly into the Waveney and Yare. The whole system is connected.

"There was a significant amount of overtopping at Potter Heigham and Ludham which the EA didn't seem to register. I had to send them a report and photographs of the flooding to prompt them into taking action, and this is not the first time it's happened.

ludham

High water levels at Ludham on Tuesday - Credit: George Elliot


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"The EA needs credit where it's due for getting that alert out there as soon as I made the situation known to them. But they shouldn't be dealing with this reactively. People need to know about potential flooding in advance so they can take appropriate action. We could have ended up with sewage coming over into riverside properties.

"It's getting a bit ridiculous."

flooding at Ludham

Flooding at Ludham on Tuesday - Credit: George Elliot

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An EA spokesperson said: "The complex nature of the Broads river systems means we continue to develop our modelling to build a fuller picture of the risk of flooding, reviewing trigger points as necessary, to improve our warning and informing capability.

“Flood alerts are issued in response to water levels reaching a trigger point, based on information from our telemetry systems that provide 24/7 real-time updates of river conditions. We also use computer modelling to determine if levels will reach trigger point based on rate of rise of water and other prevailing weather conditions.

flooding Ludham

Flooding at Ludham on Tuesday - Credit: George Elliot

“The system is supplemented by reports from flood wardens and members of the public providing eyes on the ground reports.

“We would urge people to check their flood risk by signing up for free flood warnings on the Gov.uk website and via @EnvAgency on Twitter.”

Paul Rice (left) and George Elliot, of the Broads Society, said confusion over lockdown rules was ca

Paul Rice (left) and George Elliot, of the Broads Society - Credit: Laura Elliot


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