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Drop -in Session For Flood Hit Communities

Vital recovery work to support communities impacted by last week’s flash floods will see a drop-in session held at Newton Poppleford next Tuesday (23 May).

Devon County Council, the Environment Agency and East Devon District Council are working in partnership to assess the scale of the damage caused by the flash flooding event. Initial investigations into the scale of the damage caused by the flash floods have found that more than 100 properties in Devon suffered internal flooding.

The drop-in session at Newton Poppleford Pavilion, from 3pm to 7pm, will be an opportunity for residents to meet with staff from the councils and Environment Agency.

The following agencies will be in attendance at the drop-in session and can help with; • The Environment Agency - Flood warning service and the event. - Assets and recovery work. - Land use management, remedial works and longer-term management. - Repair works and flood risk activity permitting requirements. - Waste disposal advice.

• Devon County Council - Flood Team: Production of Flood Investigation Report, Property Flood Resilience, Ordinary Watercourse regulation, consideration of future flood improvements. - Highways: maintenance and clearance of drainage systems and road surfaces.

• East Devon District Council - Housing issues. - Waste collection and street cleaning. - Advice on financial support that may be available.

Newton Poppleford was the hardest hit by the flash floods with 55 properties affected. Properties were also flooded in a number of other areas including Tipton St John, Colaton Raleigh, Metcombe, Venn Ottery and Exeter.

The authorities will be working together to explore opportunities for potential flood improvement schemes that can be proposed to Defra for funding as part of a business case to help protect and benefit the impacted communities.

Although a major clear up operation has taken place, temporary traffic lights remain on two sections of the A3052 at either end of Newton Poppleford. These are on Four Elms Hill, due to a collapse of the road, and on Exeter Road, Newton Poppleford, due to edge subsidence and a dangerous private wall.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “I would encourage everyone affected by these flash floods to attend this drop-in session and help provide us with the insight on how events unfolded. We always work closely with other agencies and authorities to hold these sessions and they have always proven to be an effective way of gaining information about flood events. It’s vitally important that the local community helps us to understand how they’ve been impacted to see what we can possibly do to reduce their flood risk in future.”

Matt Blythe, East Devon District Council’s Assistant Director for Environmental Health and Climate Change, added: “Since the extreme weather, staff from East Devon District Council have been supporting those who have been impacted by these extreme weather events. Our team will be present to help with any housing issues or those who may require support from our financial resilience officers.”

Jon Snowden, Recovery Manager for the Environment Agency, said: "We feel for those who have been flooded; the impact on people and property can be devastating. As the focus now turns to recovery, we will support communities and look at all options to reduce the risk and impact of further flooding. It's an opportunity to ‘build back better’ and ensure any repairs do not encroach further into vital flood storage areas. Please come along to the public-drop in session to discuss how you can minimise your flood risk and further protect your property."

Anyone who would like more information should email floodrisk@devon.gov.uk For other useful contact details and answers to FAQs visit East Devon District Council’s webpages.

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