Posted & filed under Blog.

After a meeting on 9th August, it has been highlighted that we need ACCURATE figures on the scale of the impact, numbers of properties and businesses affected by the storm/flooding of July 23rd 2013

This will be essential to ‘attract’ funding in order to carry out a survey and implement measures to reduce flood risk

Were you affected/threatened by the recent flooding in Southwell?.

Do you want to be kept informed of public meetings to discuss follow-up action – within local community and with agencies/authorities?

Are you interested in helping to make Southwell and its residents more flood resilient?

Are you interested in finding out more information about resources available for flood damage reparation and suggested action in the event of a possible recurrence?

Please spare a few minutes to complete this questionnaire…

From the National Flood Forum ( website:

“Flood Action Groups are a representative voice for their community and their aim is to work in partnership with the Agencies and Authorities whose work involves flood risk.

Through these ‘grass-root’ groups, communities are able to;

  • address their concerns over malfunctioning assets/and other issues
  • be constantly in touch with what is intended for their community
  • know procedures that are already in place regards routine maintenance
  • have a voice as to the future flood risk of their community through consultation.
  • Instigate ‘flood watchers’
  • Create awareness of flood risk to the wider community
  • Prepare to reduce the impact on the community should a flood event occur”

The extensive flooding on Tuesday 23rd July 2013 highlighted the need for a Southwell Flood Forum.

Plans for a Southwell Flood Forum were underway and was effectively launched on 6th August 2013 following a follow-up programme on BBC East Midlands Today news.

The situation is complex and varies depending on specific Southwell locations. Surface water management includes dykes and drains which are unable to cope in particular weather conditions, as well as the built environment.

Various task groups have been set up –

Flood Allevation Team consists of a group of people with expertise such as hydrology, geology, modelling, surveying. They will be working closely with the Flood Consultants who have been commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council in November to carry out a thorough investigation into the flooding and determine effective mitigation/alleviation solutions.

Watercourse Management Team – has been very hard at work clearing Potwell Dyke of debris which has accumulated through lack of maintenance and particularly after the floodwaters ‘picked up’ an enormous additional amount of vegetation, stone and general rubbish. This group is working in partnership with Riparian Owners and will manage and monitor all watercourses in Southwell.

Community Emergency Plan – This will be producing a plan to help the community prepare and cope with future emergencies including flood, working closely with the Emergency Services and Nottingham County Council Emergency Planning Department. A programme of training will enable Flood Wardens to support people in their local area, particularly the vulnerable, and close roads in conjunction with the Highways Department.

Action Groups – Potwell Dyke and Halam Hill Flood Groups are specifically focussed on the two distinct flooding problems in those parts of town and engaging with residents to support the work of the Forum.

The way forward….

At this stage,we need to know who and how people were affected, ‘threatened’ (even if not actually affected) or unaffected but concerned by the effects of flooding in Southwell in order to

  • gather statistics on the type and size of the problems encountered
  • ascertain the type of help and resources people need and where to find it
  • set up a communications network for use before, during and after flood.
  • contribute ideas regarding what action may help to reduce flood risk

From experience in 2007 it appears that after flood damage people are preoccupied getting their properties reinstated to a habitable state. It is a physically and emotionally difficult time – sorting with insurers etc., cleaning, clearing and either living in the building site of a house or living in rented accommodation as a ‘flood refugee’.

However, it is of the utmost importance that we pull together as a community and make Southwell a safer place to live.

Newark and Sherwood District Council have sent out a questionnaire to 3,000 households in Southwell. The information from these “may be used by the Local Authority, Police and other appropriate agencies to assist in assessing and meeting your needs. It may include other personal details and may be shared with appropriate professionals and service providers”. The District Council questionnaire is also available online.

This aims to provide a ‘Community Impact Assessment’ to learn lessons for the future. It may help to produce a similar document to ‘Fighting the Floods’ which was produced after the 2007 floods.

We realise there will be a degree of duplication of information in the online Southwell Flood Forum questionnaire, but we also need our locally ‘harvested’ information to help us plan our Forum activities.