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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guildford-temporary-defences/guildford-temporary-defences
Guildford has been identified as a community where a temporary flood defence could help reduce the impact of flooding. To make sure temporary barriers can be deployed, the Environment Agency have carried out preparatory work, so you may have seen their staff and contractors in your community over the last few months.
These works include the fitting of removable fence panels to some property boundaries as well as vegetation clearance and ground levelling so that the barriers will work effectively. Where these works have been carried out, the Environment Agency has already been in contact with the appropriate residents and landowners.
The project’s purpose and objectives
The Environment Agency set up the Supporting Communities Remaining at Risk (SCRR) project to improve the way they deploy temporary defences to protect communities that do not currently have a permanent flood defence. Temporary defences include pumps and barriers that are stored elsewhere and delivered to a location to reduce the impact of flooding to homes and businesses, minimise risk to life and help reduce the clean-up required after a flood.
Wherever permanent flood defences are in development or at least technically feasible, they will continue to develop them as planned. If temporary defences are also viable they will be used until such a time as a permanent defence can be completed.
How it is decided where to use temporary defences
Temporary defences do not work in all locations. The SCRR project used a range of criteria to decide where they could be used, and that is where:
- they will protect more than 5 properties, from a 3.3% chance of flooding in any year.
- they offer a practical method of reducing the impact of flooding and are economically viable.
- they will not significantly increase the impact of flooding elsewhere for other properties or communities.
- they would not encircle and therefore isolate the community from additional support.
- they have had no significant investment in individual property level protection.
- our ability to forecast flooding provides enough time to deploy the defences.
- they were listed in the 6 year investment programme.
- there is support from the local authority, partner organisations and the community.
When you receive a flood warning, you should always be aware of the situation in your local area and be prepared to take action to protect yourself, your family, your pets and property.
How temporary barriers reduce flood risk
Temporary barriers work by creating an artificial wall to block the flow of water across the floodplain, preventing it from reaching those properties at risk and without increasing the impact of flooding elsewhere.
Where the barriers will be stored
The Environment Agency will hold stocks of temporary barriers and supporting equipment at strategic locations across the country. When this equipment is required it will be delivered to the locations where it is to be deployed.
Who will deliver and deploy the temporary defences
The Environment Agency’s Operations Management staff or their contractors, including Eddie Stobart (Road Transport) Ltd. will deliver the equipment to site and deploy it when required.
Other partners who are involved
The Environment Agency are working alongside our partners in local government, the emergency services, as well as private, voluntary and community organisations to ensure that it is possible to deploy these defences this winter if required.
Where the defences will be deployed
Please note that:
- These alignments are subject to change due to ongoing investigations into these locations, as well as discussions with residents and landowners.
- Temporary barriers do not offer the same standard of protection as a permanent defence.
- There is no guarantee they can be deployed during every flood because each flood is different and temporary defences do not work in all situations.
- The defences may require the closure and pumping of watercourses as well as supporting works like road closures and vegetation clearance. These details are currently being confirmed.
Further information and contacts
To check whether you are at risk of flooding or to register for free flood alerts and warnings please visit the flood risk pages.
For any other questions about temporary defences, email: Enquiries_THM@environment-agency.gov.uk or call 02030 259 804.