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Environment Agency highlights how one in six homes in England at risk of flooding while testing Wells flood gate

PUBLISHED: 13:05 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:05 09 February 2017

Environment Agency specialist specialist team member Gavin Chillingworth, left, and operative Andy Wood, pictured during testing to the Wells flood gate.

Environment Agency specialist specialist team member Gavin Chillingworth, left, and operative Andy Wood, pictured during testing to the Wells flood gate.

Archant

One in six homes in England are at risk of flooding and many people are completely unaware if their own home is in a flood risk area, an Environment Agency project manager has said.

Testing working being carried out on the Wells flood gate.Testing working being carried out on the Wells flood gate.

Steffi Lomax was in Wells this morning while the Environment Agency and its contractors, ECS Engineering Services, were carrying out tests on the town’s flood gate ahead of a £140,000 upgrade later this year.

She spoke just weeks after coastal communities in East Anglia breathed a huge sigh of relief after disaster was averted, when fears that a tidal surge on January 13 would wreak havoc, similar to the storm surge of December, 2013, were allayed.

Mrs Lomax said: “I think, in general, the older generation are well prepared for floods and know what to do to protect their homes and businesses, but a large proportion of 18 to 34-year-olds are not.

“Many would be surprised that one in six homes in England are at risk of flooding.

“As well as the coast there is a lot of low-lying farmland and also the risk of river flooding.

“Many in the 18 to 34-year-old category will be buying homes, or starting business, for the first time and it’s important to know things like how to get flood alert warnings, to understand what they mean, to know what to do in the case of a flood and how to protect your home or business.”

The flood gate on Wells quay, which was constructed in 1982, protects some 280 properties in the town.

Mrs Lomax said: “This is a unique and very special flood gate. We don’t have anything else like it and it has served the town well.

“We need to upgrade it to protect Wells for the next 20 years.”

The flood gate will be taken away on May 3 for upgrades to the electrics and mechanical system and also to be repainted and refurbished.

A temporary barrier will be put in place until the gate is back in operation on June 30.

Mrs Lomax urged people to find out more about how to protect their homes and business from flooding by going to, https://floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk/.

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