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Flood Fears Remain Two Years After Devastating Downpours

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11:42am 19th November 2012
(Updated 11:42am 19th November 2012)

Two years since floods devastated mid Cornwall it is feared there could be a repeat.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were hit when a month's worth of rain fell in just one night over Lostwithiel, St Blazey and Mevagissey.

Now locals are worried not enough flood defence work has been done to prevent it happening again.

Ruth Turner was flooded out in Pentewan. She said: "We won't know if it works until we have heavy, heavy rain. So we do worry every time there's a flood alert that we could be back in the same situation we were two years ago.

"When the original flood defences were put in they didn't listen to the people who had lived here for years and years and told them at the time it wasn't going to work. Because they didn't listen to them at the time you wonder who they have listened to now."

The Environment Agency said in a statement:

“Since the floods, officers from Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency worked together to investigate how flood risk in the main affected locations could be reduced. Information collected at the community flood surgeries held after the flooding was used to inform this work.

“As part of this work, two Community Flood Recovery Groups and a Steering Group were established, and two community groups based on community network areas.

“This really has been a partnership with everyone, including people who were flooded, working together to improve community resilience.

 

  • Community-led Flood Plan Groups wrote community plans
  • Flood wardens recruited to help identify vulnerable people and manage local issues.
  • Installation of property protection in ,,,,, properties to reduce the flood risk and level of damage caused by flooding. This scheme aims to provide flood resistance measures to properties in communities where a traditional flood alleviation scheme is not economically viable, but where there is still a need for flood protection.
  • Community Flood Plans for Mevagissey, Lostwithiel, St Blazey/Par, Tregrehan and Polmassick.
  • Cornwall Council secured £4,250 per house to better protect approximately 40 additional properties in the Charlestown, Coverack, Lerryn, Millpool, Portloe, St Austell Urban Village, Holmbush, Pentewan, Tregony and Luxulyan communities from flood damage.
  • In Mevagissey and St Blazey, the Environment Agency pilot a service to provide location specific early warnings of flash flooding, share weather and flood forecast information with flood wardens, and provide automatic messages from rain and river gauges.

 

“Following the flooding, the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council teams cleared streams, culverts and screens of flood debris, and carried out post flood surveys and repairs.

“They also carried out post flood reviews of all the main affected locations and produced recommendations for improvements. As a result, programme of improvements was agreed, including:

 

  • Improvement on the Prideaux Stream in St Blazey
  • Pump station improvements at Tredenham Close in Par.
  • Repairs to the White River near Pentewan (by South West Water)
  • In Lostwithiel, replacing 150metres of the Tanhouse Stream culvert which was badly damaged during the flooding.
  • Installing debris catching fences on the Pentewan Stream upstream of the village. 
  • Upgrading the trash screen at the culvert entrance in Pentewan to reduce the chance of blockage.
  • Improvements on the Tanhouse Stream in Lostwithiel, including improved drainage through the River Fowey flood wall in Quay Street.
  • Working with South West Water to see whether the sewer can be removed from the Mevagissey Stream, to increase capacity. “
11:42am 19th November 2012

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