Residents in Hull are being reminded of how to protect themselves from one of nature’s biggest threats to the city.
At present, there are around 120,000 home in Hull and of these, 106,302 are at risk from flooding.
To try and reduce flood risk, a huge amount of work and investment has gone into building flood defences to protect the city and its residents, but it can never fully eliminate the total risk of flooding.
And now the Environment Agency have launched an awareness campaign to highlight how flood damage could have an even more devastating impact on victims than usual this winter.
Caroline Douglass, director of incident management & resilience at the Environment Agency said: “Our new research shows that our homes are more important to us than ever before, meaning that the impact of a flood this winter could be even more devastating.
“While the Environment Agency is doing everything we can to prepare for the winter, the climate emergency means that we are experiencing more extreme wet weather than ever before.
“Just as they will be aware of Covid 19 restrictions, we’re urging everyone to check whether they live in an area at risk from flooding and know the simple steps to remain prepared – such as moving possessions upstairs and preparing a grab bag with medicines and important documents. This will help reduce the damage and keep yourself and your family safe.”
Tidal flood risk is expected to increase over time due to sea level rise, and to try and tackle this, a partnership of 12 local authorities around the Humber and the Local Enterprise Partnership are developing a new strategy called the Humber 2100, to manage tidal flood risk over the next 100 years.
Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, communities and environment at Hull City Council, said: “Hull is a city at real risk, and as climate change rapidly progresses, we have to take action for ourselves and our communities.
“These can be simple actions such as signing up to flood warnings, or preparing an emergency flood kit full of essential items for you and your family, or a flood plan, ensuring you know what action to take if your home is flooded.”
From 2015 to 2021, over £140 million will have been spent on flood protection schemes for Hull, and a further £110 million on the larger flood alleviation schemes by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
This equals a total of £250 million in protection for Hull and the East Riding.
They key funders being the Environment Agency flood defence grant in aid, the European Regional Development fund, and also the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s allocation of the Local Growth Fund – part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
However a study commissioned by the Living with Water Partnership – a collaboration between Hull City Council, Yorkshire Water, East Riding Council and the Environment Agency – and led by the University of Hull, found that a third of Hull households are not protected against flooding.