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26th Jun, 2022

Support needed 'before the flood'

Worcester Editorial 19th Aug, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

FLOOD victims in Diglis have called for more to be done beforehand to help residents when river levels rise again.

More than six months have passed since many homeowners on Diglis Avenue were left submerged in up to eight inches of water after the River Severn burst its banks.

Resident Gill Edgar said she was impressed by the response of Severn Trent Water, the Environment Agency and Worcester City Council after the flood hit as she said she was back living in her home within a week of the event.

However, Mrs Edgar, who runs the Mustard Seed Tea Terrace on Diglis Avenue, said she could have done with more support in the lead up to the flood.

“After the flood there was a bit of a shake up and I could not have asked for anything more,” she said. “But we could have definitely done with more support as a group of people especially as we live in houses that get the threat from the flood.

“We just need a little more practical support, like lifting heavy things, when the flood is imminent. They say they are here to help, but when you ask in your hour of need there is actually nobody there.”

David Lawrence, who also lives on Diglis Avenue, said the problem was made worse after a manhole cover burst open and spewed sewage into the water.

But he believed that could have been avoided if there was a plan in place which kicked into action when the river levels reached a certain point.

“The accuracy from the Environment Agency is very good in terms of the river levels as there are gauges all the way down the river, so we know when it is going to flood,” he said. “But there doesn’t seem to be a plan in place.

“At that point there should be someone saying assistance needs to be offered to residents in this block to move furniture, a team from Worcester City Council needs to be sent there and Severn Trent needs to turn off the pumping system and divert the water into the river to avoid the manhole covers coming up.”

In response, a spokesman from Worcester City Council, said: “In a time of emergency we will try our best to help all affected residents, but our resources are limited and when Worcester floods there are many sites, individuals and organisations that call on our assistance.

“We do everything we can and most people appreciated the high quality assistance we do provide.”

He added they will be looking to make best use of the Government’s Repair and Renew scheme, which sees each flood-hit homeowner receive £5,000 to improve measures to stop water from seeping into their property.

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