AN APPEAL has been issued to recruit vigilant local people as FLOOD WARDENS in Hedon.
Volunteer flood wardens provide an essential service by keeping the Environment Agency’s flood incident rooms appraised of actual river levels during periods when the risk of flooding is greatest. Wardens can also help ensure that local people are informed of any imminent risk and encourage them to take any necessary action.
“During a flooding event, the ‘eyes and ears’ of local people can be essential in keeping both the authorities and local communities updated with vital information,” says Hedon Town
Council’s chair of emergency planning Councillor Di Storr.
“We want to get more local people involved in becoming flood wardens but equally important, it’s about urging people to simply be vigilant and report what they see. If dog walkers in the town, for example, see river levels rising or see drains blocked or overflowing, then by reporting that promptly to the Hedon Town Council or the Environment Agency they will be providing a useful service.”
Tom Hayton is a flood warden for the Draper’s Lane area. During a period when flood warnings are issued, Tom will be in constant contact with the Environment Agency and if called upon will go and take a photograph of the actual river levels for them. He would cooperate with the local town council as part of its emergency plan and also with the emergency services.
Tom said: “No matter how good or reliable modern technology is, nothing is as good as ‘eyes on the ground’.
“As a flood warden, you are given a patch that you keep an eye on. You get used to its normal levels, whether it’s high because of tidal levels, etc. You are also aware of weather forecasts and if heavy rain is due. It’s important to realise that the highest water will normally be after the event as it takes time for water to run off the fields.
“If there is a problem, as a warden you have a direct number to the flood command centre in York. They can make decisions regarding any further action needed. It certainly wouldn’t be the flood warden’s decision to go knocking on people’s doors without the advice of the Environment Agency.”
Tom is conscious of the need to be able to contact lots of people quickly in a time of severe risk. He urged residents to sign up to the Environment Agency flood alert system (see below). Additionally, he would use social media services and the local Hedon Blog to try to spread information quickly.
Being vigilant and a good citizen is something that we all can do, but for those who want to explore the idea of becoming a flood warden in Hedon, Cllr. Storr advises people to contact Hedon Town Council and leave contact details at the Town Hall, St Augustine’s Gate, Hedon, HU12 8EX or Tel: 01482 898428. The council will contact people with the necessary information. Note:The Town Hall is open from 9 am to 3 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Register with Floodline Warning Direct online or at Floodline on 0345 988 1188.