Free Flood-Wise event for Shoreham residents at risk

Bill Freeman, right, from Adur Floodwatch Group, and Sompting resident Bob Simpson discuss sandbags
Bill Freeman, right, from Adur Floodwatch Group, and Sompting resident Bob Simpson discuss sandbags

AROUND 8,650 properties in Shoreham, Sompting and Lancing are at risk from flooding, especially when heavy rainfall combines with a high tide.

To help residents in low-lying areas to prepare and minimise the effects, Adur Floodwatch Group and Shoreham Society have linked to put on a free information event.

Funded through West Sussex County Council’s Operation Watershed, the advice afternoon is aimed at helping people to keep their homes dry when the waters rise.

Gerard Rosenberg, chairman of the Shoreham Society, said: “The society has always championed activities which bring significant benefits to the area.

“We are delighted to be able to pull together at one event all this expertise on how to understand and manage drainage problems, concerns for which are at the forefront of the minds of many of our residents here.”

The Flood-Wise Home event takes place at Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham on Saturday, from 2pm to 5pm.

We are delighted to be able to pull together at one event all this expertise on how to understand and manage drainage problems, concerns for which are at the forefront of the minds of many of our residents here

Gerard Rosenberg, chairman of the Shoreham Society

Topics covered will include practical ways to protect buildings from rising floodwater, advice on who to call for extra help and information about how flood response services are organised.

There will also be a description of the drainage system in Adur, and information about plans for future improvements.

Bill Freeman, from Adur Floodwatch Group, said: “Promotional cards are being delivered to homes in the area which are subject to tidal, groundwater and surface water drainage issues. This is supported by a bus shelter poster campaign throughout the district.

“The event will help the community create primary protection for their properties when drainage problems occur and help them understand how to communicate an escalating problem to the authorities for their support when appropriate.”

The format for the afternoon will be presentation sessions by all the agencies involved, followed by an informal exhibition.

A key element will be a presentation by the Environment Agency on the £25million Adur Tidal Walls Scheme, which is due to start next year to improve river defences and reduce flood risk in the area.

Other presentations will be given by the county council’s technical team to help residents understand how the water comes into, flows through and out of the area.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue will advise on how to prepare for, manage and communicate emerging drainage problems.

Gardner and Scardifield will demonstrate a range of latest flood risk protection products, available from their centre in Lancing, and advice will be available from both Southern Water and the National Flood Forum.

Associations involved include West Beach, Sompting and Barfield Park residents associations, Mash Barn Community Group and Lancing Manor SE Residents Network.