Thomas Bridge 28 July 2014

Environment Agency hails progress on flood defence repairs

Repairs to flood defences in the South West are making ‘good progress’ after this winter’s severe storms and flooding - the Environment Agency claims.

Extreme weather and flooding damaged over 100 flood defence structures in Somerset and Cornwall, including river banks, pumping stations, sluices, gates and beach defences.

The Environment Agency has said it is prioritising repairs where there is the greater risk of future flooding and aims to complete work before the winter.

MPs on the Environment and Rural Affairs Committee last month urged ministers not to ‘neglect’ preservation of defences, warning that flooding could return unless the Government ‘takes action’.

Some 150,000 cubic metres of shingle was lost from Chesil Beach in Dorset and flood defences damaged during winter storms. Work to repair the site is said to be ‘well under way’.

Robbie Williams for the Environment Agency said: ‘Many of our vital flood defences were damaged from the recent winter flooding which was the wettest on record. These repair works are vital to protect people and properties from flooding.

‘We are targeting and prioritising repairs where there is the greatest flood risk, with the aim to complete work before winter. This will ensure they are ready for any heavy rain and high tides.

The Agency said ‘good progress’ was also being made in Somerset, where dredging of the Rivers Parrett and Tone was on target for completion in October.

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