Exmouth Tidal Defence scheme: Flooding could be worse than 2014

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 July 2019

Spectacular-Exmouth seafront takes a battering on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1882-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

Spectacular-Exmouth seafront takes a battering on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1882-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

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Flooding caused by 'Armageddon strength' storms five years ago 'could have been worse' said the Environment Agency (EA).

Stranded-This Post Office van awaits recovery on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1904-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.ukStranded-This Post Office van awaits recovery on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1904-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

In February 2014, two-storey high waves twice breached the sea walls flooding parts of the town - but EA is predicting there could be worse flooding to come if the town's aging sea defences are not repaired.

Works have begun to strengthen sections of sea and flood walls as part of a £12million scheme to protect thousands of homes and businesses in Exmouth.

It is hoped contractors can make a start on the seafront side of the defences in September.

Speaking at a public exhibition on Friday (June 28), Jim Faux, of EA, said if this work is not done, Exmouth could flood worse than 2014.

A recovery truck is covered by a wave as it goes to the aid of a stranded Post Office van on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1916-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.ukA recovery truck is covered by a wave as it goes to the aid of a stranded Post Office van on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1916-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

He said: "We had significant flooding in 2014 which flooded into the town and while that was an extreme incident - it could have been worse."

Mr Faux also said 1,500 homes in The Colony area of the town which have a 'low ground-floor level', could be at risk from tidal flooding from the River Exe.

He said: "There is a strong business case for doing the work which is why it is a priority for us to do them

"People that live in the flood-risk area might not feel they are at risk but the impact on them would be significant."

Roads near to the seafront resembled a river on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1848-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.ukRoads near to the seafront resembled a river on Monday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 1848-06-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

Work is underway on the estuary side to install foundations for new seawalls aimed at protecting the houses in The Colony.

Mr Faux said they are due to start raising the defences and install new flood embankment in the Camperdown Creek area of the town this month. A new timber-clad seawall will be built near the Camperdown Terrace car park.

Then in September, EA and contractor Team Van Oord hope to begin work on the seafront side.

The seawall will be extended to Rockfish at the western end of the seafront and the inner flood defences - which protect properties from waves overtopping the seawall - will be strengthened.

There will be a number of road and pedestrian flood gates installed between The Grove and Premier Inn.

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