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Floating ideas

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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 11th 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

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how important it is to take care of our vulnerable neighbours. In England, there are over five million homes at risk of flooding, many of which are home to vulnerable people who may be worse affected during and after a flooding event.

We know the effects of flooding, physical and mental, can last for years after a flood has happened, so by looking out for your neighbours, you can help your loved ones and the community recover more quickly.

In our previous articles, we have emphasised the importance of being prepared and being more resilient. As winter nears, here is a reminder of some positive actions you can take.

Create a personal flood plan
This will help to protect you, your loved ones and your possessions.

Help us establish a flood action group
This brings the local community together to talk about local flooding issues and helps to form a proactive group of residents that can support each other during an emergency.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at work, retired, need additional mobility help or just generally have limited time – it’s great to get involved in any way you can. Even if you don’t live in a flood risk area, your help can be valuable in helping others respond without the worry that your own property is in danger.

Help your community prepare for flooding
Are you part of a local group? Whether that be a religious group, a running club, a dog walking group, a book club or something else, could you help share our messages?

Staggeringly, only a third of people who live in areas at risk of flooding believe their property is at risk! And with climate change already causing more frequent, intense flooding, we all need to know what to do in a flood. Even small actions like encouraging your neighbours to sign up to flood warnings can be a massive help and save lives.

Create a community flood plan
A really great way to help protect your community from the worst effects of flooding can be to create a community flood plan. These plans can help you decide what practical actions to take before, during and after a flood, ultimately reducing the damage the flooding can cause. This requires your help and local knowledge.

The immediate effects of climate change mean flooding is predicted to happen more frequently, so it is more important than ever to get involved.

If you have any ideas, big or small, about how we can raise awareness of flood risk in your local community, please get in touch. Or, if you’d like to find out more information about how you can help, please do let us know.

River Roding Project update
The River Roding Project team are busy progressing the detail designs. The team recently visited a neighbouring Environment Agency flood storage area, to make sure we are feeding best practice and learn valuable lessons from the team who look after the structure into our design.

We have also been preparing the Flood Risk Activity Permits to start digging archaeological trial trenches in November at the upstream site in Essex. This will help us to explore the site in more detail to see if there are any historic environmental assets on site. By doing these investigations, we can ensure that any archaeological heritage is preserved at the site.

Please keep an eye out for upcoming River Roding Project engagement events in March or April 2021.

To find out if your property is a flood risk, visit wnstd.com/flood
To register for flood warnings, visit wnstd.com/floodwarn
To check the River Roding webcam, visit wnstd.com/rodingcam
For more information on the River Roding Project, visit wnstd.com/rrp or call 0370 850 6506
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