Housing organisations prepare for flooding
Housing providers are gearing up to deal with flooding problems as 130 areas across England and Wales are put on flood alert.
The Environment Agency has named the south west, Wales and areas along the river Severn as particular areas of concern.
As well as the 130 alerts – where flooding is possible – it has also issued 32 warnings for places where flooding is expected.
Counties along the Severn include Gloucestershire and Worcestershire are especially vulnerable. This includes Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, which was one of the worst hit places during flooding in the floods of July 2007 when 1,800 households had to be moved into temporary accommodation.
The 27,000-home Bromford Group, which has homes in Tewkesbury, Cirencester and Gloucester, said it had teams on the ground in at risk areas monitoring the situation. All its in-house repairs and landscaping teams are carrying flood barriers and sandbags in their vehicles, and it will set up a ‘flood taskforce’ if it becomes necessary.
‘Unlike in 2007, when flooding was caused by inadequate drainage, the flooding predicted in the next week will be due to rivers bursting their banks,’ said Jarrod Williams, Bromford’s communications officer.
‘We have ensured any homes within the identified high risk flood areas have flood barriers installed as a matter of course.’
The group is using social media to direct customers to ‘Flood Group UK’, a resource giving advice on how to prepare for flooding.
The Environment Agency has strengthened its flood defences in the south west, protecting 600 homes in Taunton and 25,000 properties along the River Don through Doncaster and Bentley and at Upton on Severn.
Wayne Morris, chief executive of 18,500-home Spectrum Housing Group – which has homes from Plymouth to Bournemouth – said his organisation had been ensuring emergency procedures are in place.
His staff have been contacting local authorities to see what their concerns and preparations for flooding were as well as ensuring the organisation has enough sandbanks should they be required.
‘We have been monitoring the situation very closely,’ Mr Morris said. ‘I’m pleased to say none of our homes have been affected so far, but obviously we have put together provision for support to any property that might face difficulties.’
Chris Mills, director of the Environment Agency Wales, said: ‘We are monitoring river levels closely and officers are out and about removing blockages and checking that flood defences are in good working order.’
Residents in a street in Flintshire in Wales have called for action from the council, Welsh government and utilities company Welsh Water after their homes were flooded for the third time since 2000.
Homes in Cae Bracty, off Brook Street in Mold, were flooded in 2000 and 2009 as well as over the past few days.