Budleigh residents could be cut off by ‘freak’ storms warns town mayor

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 December 2017

Flood water has previously risen around the pavilion at Budleigh Cricket Club. Picture: Stephen Chilcott

Flood water has previously risen around the pavilion at Budleigh Cricket Club. Picture: Stephen Chilcott

Picture: Stephen Chilcott

Town mayor Alan Dent has warned that some residents could be cut off from the rest of the town if a ‘freak’ storm hits the town and has urged action to be taken on creating an emergency plan.

Flood water has previously risen around the pavilion at Budleigh Cricket Club. Picture: Stephen ChilcottFlood water has previously risen around the pavilion at Budleigh Cricket Club. Picture: Stephen Chilcott

Heavy downpours or ‘freak’ disasters could cause parts of the Budleigh Salterton community to be cut off, the town’s mayor has warned.

According to Councillor Alan Dent, the Environment Agency (EA) has raised concerns over the flood risk posed by Budleigh Brook – not the River Otter, which has often been pointed to as a cause of problems in the town.

At a town council meeting, members were told that, if there was a major storm, some residents could become isolated in their own homes.

Cllr Dent wants to put an emergency plan in place so the town is prepared for such a disaster.

He said: “They (the EA) say it’s not the River Otter we’re concerned about - it’s the Budleigh Brook because that goes right through the centre of town.

“If we get, and we have been having them, these violent thunderstorms, where you get 300 millimetres of rain in two hours, which is a month’s supply of rain, you will have a wall of water slamming down against which you can do nothing.

“There is no defence against it.”

The town council is going to ask the EA to give it a template of an emergency plan which will allow people to ‘spring into action’.

This would include instructions on what to do in such an emergency and the numbers of key holders for important community buildings, such as the football and cricket clubs.

Cllr Dent added: “What you do need to do is make sure that if people are affected in any way, there is somewhere safe for them to go.

“You see the brook divides the town in half, so we will need somewhere higher up one side of the river and one higher up on the other side of the stream, because these places may not be affected, but you may not be able to get to them.

“We need to know who the key holders are so we can swing into action and do some quick emergency response.”

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