Storm update: Community group ready to offer emergency refuge and food to storm evacuees in Southwold

Waves batter the seafront near the pier in Southwold.

Waves batter the seafront near the pier in Southwold. - Credit: Archant

Volunteers are well prepared at the William Godell Pavilion at Southwold Rugby Club.

Members of the Southwold and Reydon Community Emergency Group were staffing the centre from early evening and £200 worth of food had been donated by the Co-Op to keep the centre self sufficient for the night.

Town Mayor and chairman of the Southwold and Reydon Community Emergency group Simon Tobin predicted the town would be cut off by the surging tides by 11pm and would remain so for about eight hours.

Just under 100 people, mostly elderly had been evacuated from their homes last night.

Another rest centre has been set up in St Felix School with capacity for 200 and the school canteen was running overnight.

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Mr Tobin said: “The Southwold and Reydon Community Emergency Group started two and a half to three years ago after hurricane Katrina

“After Hurricane Katrina there were the most fantastic emergency services in the world but because there were no community groups whatsoever they couldn’t get in and it went completely through the floor.

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“So the government started to ask communities to get into these groups. We train for two and a half years with Suffolk Resilience and we have got radios.

“We are not in anyway instead of a blue light system but what we are is an inner community group that is immediately able to react when people are evacuated and work with emergency services.”

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