People living in Rothbury can find out about their new and improved flood warning service at an event this month, hosted by the Environment Agency, Northumberland County Council and the Northumberland Community Flooding Partnership.
The Environment Agency will be on hand to talk to residents about the new and improved service for the town, answer people’s questions about the risk of flooding and give advice on how to be prepared.
The drop-in event is on Tuesday 14 August at the Jubilee Hall, Bridge Street, Rothbury from 2pm to 7pm and people are welcome to stop by to talk to officers.
There will also be staff from Northumberland County Council and the Northumberland Community Flooding Partnership at the event who can give advice about preparing for flooding.
As part of the improvements, residents living in low-lying areas by the River Coquet will now get an earlier flood warning because these properties are likely to be at risk of flooding before others in the town.
Kirsty Harwood, flood advisor at the Environment Agency, said: “We have created two warning areas in the town so the people at the greatest risk of flooding receive a warning first, giving them time to take the appropriate action.
“People living on slightly higher ground will only receive a warning if the river continues to rise, which will help to reduce the number of false alarms.
“We’d like to meet people living in Rothbury to explain how the warning service has improved, inform residents about how they can join the service and what they can do to prepare themselves for flooding.”
There are 82 properties at risk of flooding in Rothbury from the River Coquet, with further properties at risk of flooding from the Coplish Burn.
Flood warnings are not currently issued for the Coplish Burn, because it is very difficult to predict flooding from small rivers that rise so rapidly.
Kirsty added: “We’re working on a way to give advance warning of flooding from Coplish Burn, and we hope to launch this as soon as possible. In the meantime we really want to speak to residents living nearby about what they can do to protect themselves from flooding.”
Rothbury last flooded in September 2008, when 50 properties were affected.
The updated flood warnings are part of improvements to reduce the risk of flooding in Rothbury. In 2010 the Environment Agency installed a £15,000 removable flood barrier at the riverside to protect the main road and Armstrong Cottages from flooding. A further £385,000 was also spent in 2009 replacing and repairing the Coplish Burn culvert to reduce the risk of flooding.
Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service from the Environment Agency to receive flood warnings direct to a telephone, mobile, fax, pager, text or email.
The Environment Agency aims to give two hours notice day or night in areas of particular risk.
Registering for flood warnings is only the first step in preparing for flooding. Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood for more information about preparing yourself and your property for flooding.