Temporary flood barriers which will reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft will be ready for deployment ahead of the winter season.
1400m of fully-removable barriers will be officially handed over from the Environment Agency to Waveney District Council on Wednesday 2 November. This will be preceded by a trial construction of a short length of barriers on the Lings Honda site at Riverside Road.
The temporary barriers have been acquired using £300,000 of additional funding secured by the Council from the Regional Flood and Coast Committee. The temporary scheme is designed to help reduce the risk of tidal flooding to people, homes and infrastructure whilst the £25m Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project progresses.
Cllr Colin Law, Leader of Waveney District Council said:
“Without any form of temporary defence, the people and the town of Lowestoft will continue to be exposed to the North Sea until the permanent scheme is completed in 2020. Having these temporary barriers will provide reassurance for local people and we are grateful for the additional funding from the Regional Flood and Coast Committee which has enabled us to proceed with the temporary scheme.
In the event of a tidal surge similar to that which we experienced in 2013, the temporary barriers will significantly reduce the level of flooding however they will not be as effective as the planned permanent tidal barrier and flood walls. Flooding can present a substantial risk to homes, businesses and infrastructure and people must be prepared. I would urge everyone to check with the Environment Agency whether they are at risk and to register for Floodline Warnings Direct online or by calling 0345 988 1188.”
Mark Johnson, Area Coastal Manager for the Environment Agency said:
“The Regional Flood and Coast Committee are very pleased to support this initiative and the wider project. We understand how devastating the 2013 tidal surge was for local people and businesses and therefore how important it is to have some way to reduce the risk from future events of this nature whilst the capital project is progressing.”
In the event of a tidal surge, temporary barriers will be constructed in a position to best protect the most vulnerable areas from flooding. Barriers will be deployed in four areas around the harbour; alongside Kirkley Ham, Waveney Road, Belvedere Road and Commercial Road.
The £25m Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project is a multi-agency scheme between Waveney District Council, Suffolk County Council, the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and other organisations. The project aims to develop a way forward to manage the flood risk to Lowestoft from all sources of flooding and to allow for economic growth and regeneration by introducing measures to protect existing residential and commercial properties.
The main focus of the project is the creation of a permanent tidal wall which will be built around the harbour to protect against future tidal surges, with a tidal gate located near to the Bascule Bridge to prevent surge water entering Lake Lothing. The temporary scheme will continue to be available until the permanent tidal defences are completed in 2020.