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The winter of 2013/2014 saw the worst groundwater flooding in Dorset and Wiltshire for over 10 years, severe coastal storms and record rainfall amounts.
In areas affected by the flooding, the Environment Agency is running events to let the local community know about its programme of flood recovery work and listen, with partners, to feedback from those affected by flooding.
The Environment Agency’s next event is a groundwater flood protection exhibition, 10am to 4pm, Saturday 7 June 2014.
The exhibition, in Salisbury’s City Hall, will help show ways in which people can protect their properties against flooding and where to go for advice.
You will be able to find out about a range of flood protection products and talk to their manufacturers. Products range from flood barriers and pumps to flood detection devices, and there will be a number of civil engineering companies who specialise in managing groundwater.
The Environment Agency and the relevant lead local flood authorities will also be on hand to provide advice and guidance on flooding issues, including the government-funded grants and schemes offering financial help for those affected by flooding.
Dorset’s coastal flood defences protect approximately 300 properties and 3 main roads from flooding. These defences were really tested during the recent coastal storms, and many experienced significant damage from the prolonged high waves and wind.
Areas such as Preston Beach in Weymouth and Chesil Beach in Portland experienced damage and the Environment Agency had to carry out emergency repairs to protect communities from future storms. These repairs are nearly complete, but the Environment Agency will need to work with the community to establish the best long-term option for the flood defences.
This film about Chesil Beach shows the calm after the storm and how the Environment Agency and partners worked together after the early January/February 2014 storm surges to repair the damage caused to Chesil.
The winter storm of 2014 led to the Chiswell sirens being sounded for the first time in 30 years. In the film the local community of Chiswell re-live their experiences of the storm, and how the Environment Agency helped to warn and inform them of the impending flood risk.
The storms led to large amounts of plastic and other debris being washed up on the Dorset coastline and Environment Agency staff volunteered to help in the Great Dorset Beach Clean organised by the Dorset Coast Forum.