Saturday, 26 April 2014

Week 4 - Milestone Ministerial Recovery Meeting

Repairs planned for 2014

Newlyn Harbour Wall Cornwall

Erosion at Hemsby

Somerset Levels

Flood Defences repaired by March 2014

Follow me on Twitter @SallySudworth
After the Easter break the team went back into full drive to process the last of the local authority submissions. At the Flood & Coastal Risk Business Board I talked through the emerging picture prior to completing the report for submission to the Ministerial Recovery Group. The good news: we have spent the
maximum allocated for us in the last financial year with an out-turn of £31m. The big question now? Is the
allocated money for repairs of £135m for this year going to be enough? Defra and the Cabinet were keen to understand the latest picture. At present we have over £100m projects ready to go and many of the repairs are already underway. Start up meetings have been held across the country by our framework contractors so they are now busy planning their work. Military flood defence inspections. As you know these were completed in record time and we now have approximately 1300 flood defences identified for further engineering assessments. These also need to be completed in record time to complete the final picture. Proof reading the factual accounts of the storms that hit the UK left me reeling. From the coastal surge of early December, to further storms over Christmas, yet again around New Year, and then round after round of weather systems travelling through January and February. It was a gruelling read and not surprising that we now have the largest ever recovery programme underway. Some people are still flooded from continued groundwater. “all time record wind speed for the North Atlantic jet stream” “lowest barometric pressure recorded at Stornaway since 1886” “the wettest Winter on record ever recorded” “unprecedented series of low pressure systems” “ a record maximum significant wave height of 7.92m was observed on the 15th February in Poole Bay” Personal highlight of the week. This was attending the last Regional Flood & Coastal Committee meeting as Flood Exec for the North West. We discussed the recent Spring Floods Conference where the community of professionals engaged in delivery flood defence were enthusiastic and committed. And the future investment programme was agreed to continue to protect people and their livelihoods from flooding. #bestjobintheworld

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