Advice issued to 400 homes at risk of flooding in Hellingly

More than 400 properties identified as being at possible risk of flooding in Hellingly have been visited by experts and their occupants given advice on flood prevention.

The households were identified as part of a project by Wealden District Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness about flood prevention.

The houses at risk were visited by firefighters, community volunteers and police community support officers who gave flood advice.

For most the concern was the effect flooding can have on the road network.

As a result of the home visits, organisers said 95 per cent of householders who were spoken to now feel more confident about coping with flooding and feel flood prepared.

Dan Dunbar, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service community volunteer, said: “Local residents appreciated us giving our time to talk about possible flood risks and what to do in a flood emergency. They found it useful to talk and find out about the different types of flooding and how it could affect them.

“One resident commented on how he thought the flood advice leaflet looked clear and easy to follow to find the best agency to contact quickly should an emergency occur.”

The recent rise in the number of new homes in Hellingly highlighted the need to make sure everyone was flood aware, organisers said.

Further awareness projects are being planned to help households in other parts of the district.

“You never know when flooding can occur – it may be day or night whatever the season,” said cllr Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Safety. “But we do know we can expect more extreme weather events. Improvements to flood risk analysis has made it easier to identity those homes where there is a greater risk of flooding. This can be from flooded rivers and watercourses or hillside run-off or, in coastal areas, high tides.”

During three days of visits, 124 home owners were spoken to, with information left for residents who were out. Before the visit only 40 per cent of the 124 households felt prepared for a flooding event. All the 474 homes identified as being at risk from the effects of flooding received an information pack giving key contact information.