March 11 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Widespread flooding caused by recent storm surges has given renewed impetus to a pioneering document being compiled to secure the future of a Suffolk waterway.
Homes, businesses and farms were inundated when low pressure combined with high tides to swell water levels along the Deben Estuary earlier this month.
In Waldringfield, downriver from Woodbridge, several homeowners have been in talks with The Deben Estuary Partnership (DEP), the Environment Agency (EA) and Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB about plans to defend their properties from future flooding by establishing a protective wall.
The EA’s senior coastal advisor for the area, Karen Thomas, said 16 properties were flooded in the village, where the developing DEP plan will recommend extra protection when submitted for public consultation and raised with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) next year.
Neil Winship, the village’s emergency planning officer and flood warden liaison, said the floods had validated the need for enhanced defences along the river. He added: “There is no reasonable doubt that climate change is under way. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been quite clear in its summary for policy-makers that it is “extremely likely” that human activity is the predominant cause.
“There will be more extreme weather events but it is impossible to predict exactly where and when. The idea that if you bang the drum hard enough scientists will come up with a definite prediction is just ignorant and wrong.
“It is highly probable there will be a deeper surge between now and 2050 - and an even higher one before 2100. There is no justification in saying it only happens every 60 years. It could happen at any time.
“There was loss and suffering but it was also a thundering good wake up call that we must do our bit to curb climate change and look to how we fund mitigating methods.”
Residents of the Quayside want to install a defensive wall of 3.6m above Ordnance Datum (OD) to defend against breaches to the river wall in the future. The depth of the recent surge was 3.3m.
Homeowners are working with the EA and the DEPartnership to find out how their proposed wall can be match-funded. The EA and DEP are also working on strengthening defences elsewhere on the Deben.
If you have photo evidence of the flooding to contribute, contact email@example.com.