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Flooding – how can we improve on preparation?
10:00am Friday 13th September 2013 in Echo News
ENVIRONMENTAL bosses will meet on Monday to discuss what went wrong during Canvey’s floods last month.
The Environment Agency is set to meet with Essex County Council, Anglian Water and others to work together to prepare for future flooding.
A month’s rain fell in one hour across south Essex, flooding roads and homes on Canvey.
Ahead of the meeting, the regional manager for the Environment Agency, Graham Verrier, visited Canvey to gain local knowledge and hear concerns from councillors on Monday.
The majority of pumps successfully sent water to a lake at Thorney Bay Caravan Park, but the lake quickly filled up, causing the pumps to stop automatically until the lake cleared.
Mr Verrier said: “We’ll look into how we can get the lake emptied quicker so we can bring the water in quicker.
“We need to make the lake work more efficiently. It seemed to be taking a little longer to empty out.”
Councillors believed computers had failed to inform Environment Agency staff a pump had failed, but Mr Verrier reassured residents staff realised the pump was not working because data was not being sent.
Councillors Ray Howard and Dave Blackwell also asked Mr Verrier for his staff to take debris with them as soon as it was collected.
Currently, debris is often left by the side of the pumps until an appropriate vehicle is available, but Mr Howard and Mr Blackwell worried it could block the pumps again.
Mr Verrier added: “On the weekend of the flooding, our staff worked for 18 hours clearing the trash screens, literally going round and round the island to the pumps clearing the debris as the water brought more in.
“We normally take it out and leave it until we can collect it another time, but the councillors asked us to take it straight away.
“I don’t think it’sahuge problem, but it’s a small thing we can work with councillors on to resolve.
“The visit was a really good opportunity to get local knowledge.”
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