Poor mobile telephone signals caused major difficulties for flood wardens in Wells.

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Wells flood action plan co-ordinators Mike and Marie Strong said they had met with police officers before Thursday’s floods, to plan their response, but were unable to get through to them on their mobiles on the night.

Mrs Strong, who is also county councillor for Wells, said this emphasises the urgent need to ensure mobile phone users in Norfolk are better connected.

She backs the EDP’s Let’s Get Connected campaign which aims to end the scandal of areas where people cannot use their mobiles.

Mrs Strong said: “When we were coming up to the high tide we needed to know where people were to ensure everyone was safe.

“But we couldn’t get through to the police officers on mobile phones.

“It was pretty chaotic and we were having to use people as runners to get messages through.

“Police and the wardens did a great job and we muddled through but the situation could have been a lot worse and it is very worrying.”

The Wells flood wardens will be testing another system in the next few days to try to avoid similar problems in the future.

Mr Strong said: “We are planning a large-scale rehearsal using UHF radio handsets piggy backing a frequency from Scira (the company running the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm).

“They wouldn’t be requiring the frequency at the time of a flood.

“Early signs are not entirely positive that we can make it work in the blackspots but it is something we are working on.”

Since the Let’s Get Connected campaign was launched, the EDP has been inundated with readers describing the poor level of service.

People’s stories about problems they have faced because of poor, intermittent or non-existent mobile phone coverage help us to build up a powerful argument highlighting why this must be tackled.

As well as signing our petition, you can tell us your stories to make the case for change.

Write to Let’s Get Connected, EDP, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, email newsdesk@archant.co.uk, or phone 01603 772459.


  • How was the co-ordination in 1953?

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    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Wells has a 70CM amateur radio repeater that gives very good coverage of Wells, why not use RAYNET for comms during floods?? It is what RAYNET was set up following the 1953 floods for exactly this kind of situation.... It is not surprising that mobile phones or a UHF system set up for offshore comms do not work well in Wells..

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    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

  • Is this article about some remote place in the third world or are we talking about what is supposed to be one of the richest countries in the World. I still have not seen an explanation why in the flat counties of East Anglian it is so difficult to get a mobile signal even in the towns let alone the country. The Uk infrastructure is falling so far behind the rest of the world we just advertise it is a tourist antique museum. Come and see the world as it was 100 years ago.

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    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Very poor John......that's why so many people died.

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    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • I would like to know if the mobile phone issue was one of no signal or an overloaded cell. If the former, then those with the mobiles should of known before the flood. This situation could be easily, effectively and with reasonable cost be overcome using a dedicated UHF repeater operating from one of the many high buildings in the area. One single person could then be based at a ground station to relay messages over the telephone network.

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    Sunday, December 8, 2013

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