MP says Christmas flood warnings at Iford Bridge Home Park were "inadequate" (From Bournemouth Echo)
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MP says Christmas flood warnings at Iford Bridge Home Park were "inadequate"
6:00am Saturday 4th January 2014 in News
AN MP is calling for answers over “insufficient” flood warnings given before people fled their homes on Christmas morning.
A total of 90 residents were evacuated from Iford Bridge Home Park at 4am on Christmas Day as the River Stour burst its banks and water was entering the site as they left.
They were evacuated again on Thursday, January 2.
And Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, is calling for a formal review by the Environment Agency.
Mr Ellwood told the agency in an email that many “feel that had they been given more warning, even a couple of hours, valuables in the properties could have been saved”.
Despite a reply from the Environment Agency Mr Ellwood remains “deeply concerned that there seems to have been insufficient warning”.
Mr Ellwood said some residents had offered to evacuate on Christmas Eve “but were told this was not necessary”.
He added: “Whilst the area was on 'flood alert', the lowest of the three warnings, only at 4am were residents woken to be told to evacuate immediately.
“I therefore ask for a formal review in decisions made and advice given.”
Ken Ayres and his wife Wendy, managers at the park, have also called for an inquiry.
ENVIRONMENT Agency officers told Tobias Ellwood a flood alert about the River Stour and a warning about the park were issued on Christmas Eve before the severe warning came at 4am on Christmas Day.
Paul Sadler and Nick Lyness, Wessex Area flood and coastal risk managers, confirmed that Wendy Ayres rang the flood incident room at around 8.20pm on Christmas Eve asking if the residents should evacuate, she was advised the severe flood warning would not be issued until sufficient resources were arranged for a safe evacuation.
The coastal risk managers added: “The rapid onset of flooding was a consequence of faster than expected travel time of the main body of water from our river gauge at Throop, upstream of Iford on the Stour, and emergence of groundwater within the park before it came over the river banks.”
They stated it was the fifth “significant event” at the site since December 1999 and said they have “long held concerns” about the “vulnerable” site.
They stated a flood plan and flood group is in place to improve preparation.
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