Southend Flood Partnership poised to respond after severe weather warnings issued

Published Thursday, 13th August 2015

photo of a puddle filled with water

The Southend Flood Partnership has prepared to respond to torrential rainfall after severe weather warnings (Amber alert) have been issued by the Met Office.

The partnership – which is made up of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Anglian Water, and Environment Agency – has put staff on call and allocated extra resource to respond to any high levels of rainfall.

Torrential downpours are possible from this afternoon through to Friday.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has heightened its preparations in the following ways:

  • We have gel bags available to use at properties at flood risk
  • We have well-rehearsed plans in place with Essex Fire and Rescue
  • Prepared to put road closures in place
  • We are poised to assist the Emergency Services in the event of any incidents
Since flooding events last year, we have also taken the following actions to address flood risk:
  • We’ve undertaken surveys on 111 flood-hit homes in order to assess their suitability for flood-mitigation measures. We start installing these next week.
  • We’ve provided new gullies and connections at The Ridgeway, Highlands Boulevard, Campfield Road, Northumberland Crescent and , Chalkwell Esplanade
  • We’ve replaced of gullies at Southchurch Boulevard, Kenilworth Gardens/Arundel Gardens, Crowstone Avenue/Chalkwell Esplanade, Symons Avenue and Crescent Road
  • Repairing damaged gully connections at Fairfax Drive, Smith Street and Ness Road
  • Investigating flood incidents at Leigh Old Town, Sutton Road, Thorndon Park Drive and Vardon Drive, among many other locations.
  • Extensions of the drainage installations at City Beach to effect improved interception of surface water.

Cllr Martin Terry, Executive Member for Public Protection, Waste & Transport, at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “We take MetOffice alerts seriously and are ready to respond to flooding.

“Since flooding two years ago, we have continued to develop our flood response, such as increasing the numbers of staff on call-out in case of emergencies, buying in more flood response supplies and improving our working with emergency services. We’ve also continued to ensure that the drains and gullies in our ownership are working properly and routinely cleared.”

Anglian Water has brought in extra manpower over the past few days to carry out additional checks of equipment:

• We’ve carried out checks at all key pumping stations across Southend

• We’ve arranged extra manpower to work day and night on Thursday and Friday

• Specific crews have been posted at various locations across Southend to ensure our equipment there is working optimally during the wet weather

• Additional pumps are being set-up at Chalkwell, Marine Parade and Eastern Esplanade as a precaution

• We are carrying out extra checks for debris on the screens and filters that guard our sewers and pumping stations against litter, stones, leaves etc. which can cause blockages or prevent water draining properly. We clean these regularly but we’re systematically checking them throughout Southend and wider Essex again today

• We will have additional resources in our 24 hour emergency call centre to respond to customer calls during the day and overnight on Thursday and Friday.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency manages the risk of flooding from the main river watercourses, which include Eastwood and Prittle Brooks, and the Prittle Brook flood relief tunnel.

• We regularly have teams out checking the main rivers to make sure they are clear

• We are continuing to monitor the weather and rivers for any likely impact

Follow @metoffice for the latest weather forecasts and check for weather warnings at http://ow.ly/rXal3 #floodaware

If you are flooded, you can call Floodline for advice on 0345 988 1188. Further guidance is available at www.gov.uk/prepare-for-a-flood