Coastal village hit by 2013 storm surge hoping to recruit more flood wardens

Senior flood warden for Bacton Alison Hamilton pictured on the shore line with some of the other flo

Senior flood warden for Bacton Alison Hamilton pictured on the shore line with some of the other flood wardens. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Flood wardens in a coastal village which suffered badly in the storm surge of 2013 are better equipped for the coming winter – but would like more help.

The Bacton team now carries radios to communicate with each other as well as head torches and waterproof maps of their areas.

They also have cards to post through doors in the event of a potential evacuation, with contact details and information on timings.

The volunteer wardens 'watch and warn' on behalf of their communities, and act as a vital source of information for residents.

Bacton was taken by surprise when the storm surge struck in December 2013.

Senior flood warden Alison Hamilton, 67, recalled: 'We weren't considered a flood risk place, and the flood alert from the Environment Agency only ever reached 'warning', not 'severe'.

'In the afternoon I went round telling everyone to evacuate to the village hall at 6pm, and from that time I was out watching until 11pm which was when the last person, who had to be rescued, was evacuated.

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'The flood two years ago caused devastation across north Norfolk, with many homes destroyed.'

In Bacton alone more than 70 homes were affected by floodwaters.

The village is hoping to recruit more wardens to help protect residentsin the future.

Miss Hamilton explained her role: 'I help people to help themselves and become aware of the tide and what to do in the event of a flood.

'I check the tide times, watch the weather forecast and head out to watch the water.'

The Environment Agency is encouraging people to sign up to its service and receive free text or email alerts of flood warnings.

Miss Hamilton added: 'People need to be aware and prepared.

'Everyone should have an emergency plan in place, on the coast or not.'

To get more information about flood awareness services, visit www.gov.uk/floodsdestroy

To become a Bacton volunteer flood warden visit: bactonandedingthorpe.co.uk

Have you made special storm preparations? Contact hayley.johnston@archant.co.uk