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Floating ideas

DSCF6189River Roding. ©Geoff Wilkinson

Rising at Molehill Green in Essex, the River Roding passes through the Wanstead and Woodford area en route to the Thames, bringing with it a very real flood risk to local homes. In the eighth of a series of articles, Nina Garner from the Environment Agency reports on the River Roding Project, which aims to reduce that risk. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson

On Saturday 21 December 2019, the Environment Agency issued flood alerts and warnings along the River Roding due to heavy rainfall. These informed local residents of a risk of flooding and covered areas including Woodford, Ilford, Barking, Loughton and East Ham.

Although no properties were flooded in 2019, the river peaked at 7am on 21 December, reaching 1.83m. This river level reached was the highest on record since the 2000 floods. The 2000 floods caused widespread disruption to major roads across Redbridge and approximately 400 properties were affected.

The recent flooding caused some disruption to local residents and the Roding Valley parkrun was cancelled as the route was flooded, leaving the local runners disappointed.

Aerial photograph of the River Roding flooding in December, taken by a local resident

Prepare, act, survive
Whether you live on a hill, in a flat or in an area that’s never flooded before, flooding can still affect you. Flooding not only puts homes, possessions and families at risk but can cause serious disruption to commuting routes, whether that be to school, work or a place of worship.

Due to our changing climate, there is a chance that flood events will become more common and extreme. Knowing what to do in a flood is important to help reduce the impact of flooding to your loved ones, your property and your possessions. The good news is that there are some simple actions you can take to prepare for flooding. These small actions, outlined below, could help keep you and your family safe.

Knowing what to do in a flood could save your life. Find out if your home, business or local area is at risk of flooding (swvg.co.uk/flood or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188). If you live in a flood-risk area, do what you can now to prepare for a flood. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

  • Sign up to our flood warning system (swvg.co.uk/floodwarn).
  • Create a personal flood plan. This plan should include a list of things you should do (like moving sentimental items to safety) and provides space for you to note down important contact details, such as your utility companies and insurance.
  • Check the water level on the River Roding. You can do this by using the monitoring webcam (swvg.co.uk/rodingcam)

2,000 homes better protected by 2080
We are progressing the River Roding Project to help Redbridge become more climate change resilient and reduce flooding to over 2,000 homes by 2080.

Subject to securing full funding, we hope to submit our planning application for the project in late summer. We will hold information events for you to comment on our final plans before we submit. We will invite you once we have a date, so please keep an eye out for more information.

For more information on the River Roding Project, visit swvg.co.uk/rrp or call 0370 850 6506
Author profile
Nina Garner
Environment Agency
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