Temporary flood barriers which will reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft will be tested next week in readiness for the winter season.
A training exercise will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 25 September to test the deployment of a section of the temporary flood barriers.
Every year, the temporary barriers are tested and those operating the barriers are put through their paces to ensure that East Suffolk Council can provide the best possible response to the threat of a North Sea tidal surge.
This year the exercise will be held at Kirkley Ham and on the site of Lings Honda. The deployment will take place overnight, beginning at 6pm and finishing at 8am on Thursday 26 September.
Cllr David Ritchie, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Coastal Management said:
“It is essential that we regularly test these barriers in order to avoid the severity of flooding experienced by people and businesses in December 2013. If required, the temporary flood barriers are deployed in places around the town where flooding was at its worst at that time.
Each year, we carry out a trial deployment to ensure we are ready to face the winter and that our barriers do the best job possible to protect people, homes and businesses.”
During the exercise, one lane of Waveney Drive will be closed and a pedestrian diversion will be in place for a small section of footpath. The waterfront footpath running to the north and west of the ASDA store will also be closed.
In 2016, 1400m of fully-removable barriers were acquired using over £400,000 of funding secured by the former Waveney District 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 permanent flood protection scheme progresses.
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 barriers were purchased to provide protection for the town whilst a permanent flood scheme, known as the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project, is created. This scheme is underway, with construction of flood walls and a pumping station to reduce the risk of flooding from the river and from extreme rainfall set to begin in early 2020. The first phase of construction of the tidal defences will also begin in 2020.