Temporary flood defences are unveiled to safeguard areas around Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Temporary defences have been unveiled to reduce the risk of flooding in a coastal town.
With the December 2013 tidal surge affecting numerous homes and businesses in Lowestoft, large parts of the town were flooded in what was the most significant sea-surge generated flood event since 1953.
Now, almost three years on from the devastating tidal surge that hit the east coast, temporary flood barriers are ready for deployment to protect the town against winter floods.
Yesterday 1.4km of temporary flood defences were handed over by the Environment Agency to Waveney District Council to safeguard five areas around the harbour – at Riverside Road, Kirkley Ham, Waveney Road, Belvedere Road and Commercial Road.
The Geodesign barriers, which have been designed for flood rescue operations and are described as 'the 21st-century alternative to the humble sandbag,' were demonstrated to a large gathering as 40m of the temporary barriers were constructed on the Lings Honda site at Riverside Road,
As the permanent tidal scheme, which is part of the £25m Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project, will not be in place until 2020, this temporary scheme is designed to help reduce the risk of tidal flooding as the main project progresses.
In the event of a tidal surge, the temporary barriers – which have been acquired using £300,000 of additional funding secured by the council from the Regional Flood and Coast Committee – mean the town is ready to defend residents and businesses from flooding.
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Waveney District Council leader Colin Law said he was 'really pleased' with the temporary barriers, which will significantly reduce the level of flooding.
He added: 'I think its important for businesses and residents to see that we mean business. Lowestoft has to be open for business – we can't be in the situation where Lowestoft is shut, and we can't afford the 2013 situation again. These preventative measures will ensure that Lowestoft remains open for business.'
Mark Johnson, area coastal manager for the Environment Agency, said: 'The Regional Flood and Coast Committee are very pleased to support this initiative and the wider project.
'We hope it gives great reassurance to residents and businesses as we work with the councils on the permanent scheme.'