Exmouth floodgates tested

As the COP climate summit approached its conclusion in Glasgow without a major declaration for protecting the planet, Exmouth has erred on the safe side and tested its new £12 million defence scheme.

Paul Nero www.radioexe.co.uk

Volunteers will operate the floodgates

The Environment Agency, which led the project, has declared it a “great success.”

This week volunteers tested the procedure for closing flood gates that have been installed along the seafront.

The gates will spend most of their lives open, and only need to be closed when flooding is predicted. More than 1,400 residential and 400 commercial properties now have a reduced risk from rising water. Closing the gates is said to take minutes.

Ben Johnstone Environment Agency area flood and coastal erosion manager thanked the volunteers who operate the gates.

He said: “We train all year round with our partner agencies to make sure we are equipped to respond to incidents, at this time of year with an increase in flood risk it’s vital we make sure we are prepared”.

Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council portfolio holder for coast, country and environment said: “With all the talk of global warming and rising sea levels, it is great to see this £12 million scheme operational which will protect many vulnerable properties and businesses in Exmouth. We are working on other schemes ourselves and with partners throughout the district to protect properties and businesses which are vulnerable from the sea level rise and increased storm events”  

Some bigger gates along the seafront, such as those that cross roads, require traffic management.  They will result in temporary road closures when flooding is expected.