Press release

Major flood defence exercise in Stratford

The Environment Agency will run a major flood defence exercise on Stratford Waterside on Tuesday 7 November 2017.

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The Environment Agency’s field team will deploy a temporary flood barrier along the street. The exercise, starting at 0700, will provide an opportunity to test barrier deployment plan and procedures, train staff and test working arrangements with partners, so the barriers can be quickly and safely erected when needed during a flood with minimum disruption.

Waterside will be closed to traffic for most of the day. Pedestrians will be unable to walk along the areas immediately in front of and behind the barrier, between the Encore Pub and the junction of Waterside and Chapel Lane, for health and safety reasons. Businesses on Waterside will be accessible.

The Environment Agency is supporting communities across England that remain at risk of flooding with 40km of temporary barriers which can be deployed at suitable sites during a flood. Stratford has been identified as one of those suitable locations.

Environment Agency Operations Manager Emma Smailes said:

This is a major test of our operational equipment. Although we have carried out numerous barrier deployment exercises at our training depots, doing it on location will give our field team invaluable experience.

Cllr Daren Pemberton, Planning and Administrative Services Portfolio at Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said:

This exercise will allow Environment Agency staff and partners, including the district council, to work together and test this new barrier deployment in Stratford-upon-Avon, thereby gaining valuable training experience.

In the past Stratford-upon-Avon, and Waterside in particular, has flooded and remains at risk of flooding, so the temporary barrier will now help to protect vulnerable properties in this location during future flooding events.

Testing the assembly of the barrier is important to ensure that it all works smoothly in a live emergency situation.

Cllr Howard Roberts, portfolio holder for Community Safety with Warwickshire County Council, said:

Flooding is one of the major hazards potentially affecting Warwickshire residents and it is vital that we are prepared to respond.

Exercises like this are key to making sure that partners are well practised at working together in response to a flood emergency.

Emma added:

It’s important to remember that we can never protect 100% against flooding, and we can’t guarantee that specific communities will always have access to temporary barriers.

Local residents and businesses should be prepared by checking their flood risk, signing up to flood warnings and finding out what they can do to protect themselves and their property by visiting the Prepare for Flooding page on GOV.UK or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Environment Agency staff will be available during the exercise to provide members of the public with information about access restrictions, alternative routes and general flood advice. The exercise is likely to conclude around 1300.

Published 19 October 2017