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Flood Defence ity research projects to help alleviate flood risk

New strategies for managing urban flood risk are required, necessitating radical changes in the ways cities are managed, planned and developed. Previous research has identified multiple options and measures for future urban flood risk management that align with more general targets for water centric, sustainable communities. However, it remains unclear how these options and measures can be:

(1) delivered in practice, and;

(2) comprehensively evaluated in terms of their benefits and costs.

Recognising this, the project proposed here will develop novel ways of driving new, resilient urban forms and fabrics through delivering measures to manage flood events sustainably while enhancing urban life; providing scope for radical solutions under new build; and, realising possibilities for improving existing performance through retrofit and urban renewal.

The project will look at the most critical flood scenarios caused by sequences or clusters of extreme weather events striking vulnerable systems of flood defences, urban areas, communities and businesses. The project will analyse and simulate situations where a second flood may strike before coastal or river defences have been reinstated after damage, or householders and small businesses are in a vulnerable condition recovering from the first flood. By examining such events and identifying the worst case scenarios, we hope our findings will lead to enhanced flood resilience and better allocation of resources for protection and recovery.

Changes in the frequency and severity of flooding are under close scrutiny due to increased storminess in projections of future climate. The project will look at observed records of storms and try to understand how clustering may obscure

or even exacerbate any climate induced changes. This is crucial for designing flood defence schemes now, which will operate for decades into the future, as current methods of estimating risk in a stationary climate do not fully account for the observed clustering of flood events and possible changes in variability.

Other aspects of the project will look at how coasts (beaches, dunes and engineered defences) and rivers behave during storms. Of particular interest is the effect of previous storms and floods moving sediment (i.e. shingle, sand and river bed material) so that the beach or river is in a different (perhaps weaker) condition when a second flood event arrives. The movement of sediment is difficult to predict as mostly happens during storms, so our knowledge of these processes is currently lacking.

News from the

Flood Recovery Trailer kept busy

Heather Shepherd and Charles Tucker took the trailer first to Felpham, then to Middleton on 16th. Arun council then took charge of deployment and took the FRT to Littlehampton, Barnham, Wick, South Bersted and Elmer, finishing on 21st. Environment Agency staff than deployed it to Bracklesham Bay in Chichester Council on 22nd and 26th.

The floods of 11th and 12th June in Wales and on the south coast brought flooding once more into the public gaze. About 250 houses were flooded around the Bognor Regis area in West Sussex and the NFF’s Flood Recovery Trailer (FRT)was deployed on 15th June to bring help, support and advice to householders affected.

Working with Arun District Council, the Environment Agency and Southern Water,

Then heading North, the FRT is now visiting communities in West Yorks and Lancashire, that were hit by flash floods on 22nd June. Again, several hundred homes were flooded. Heather Shepherd, Paul Hendy and Paul Cobbing are manning it along with EA and council staff. Venues sofar include Crawshawbooth, Irwell Valley, Croston, Wigan, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

With more rain and flooding predicted for this coming weekend, in many parts of the country, the trailer is expected to be deployed again very shortly.

Want to protect your home or small business from flooding? Ask the NFF!

Phone Amanda on 01299 403055 or Heather on 01743 741725. See Paul Cobbings repsonse to the Ministerial statement on flood insurance - page 8 13

A New Buckingham Flood Group

The NFF is supporting Buckingham setting up a voluntary flood group and working towards a major dry run and town awareness event.

We were initially involved after householders were furnished with property level protection by Aylesbury District Council. Since then we have worked with three different areas in Buckingham bringing the community together to gain support in a flood event.

The area now has a new flood group called ‘FAB’ ‘Flood Action 4 Buckingham’ and a linked volunteer group organised by ‘Churches Together’. Heather Shepherd says: “Buckingham has received much support to get this off the ground, but has now leaped forward with great success. It is an excellent example of a flooded community being supported by a local voluntary group. I can’t sing the praises of ‘Churches Together’ enough for the tremendous support they give to their communities at time of need.”

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