Planning to keep Rye dry

HOW can we prevent Rye from flooding? - That was the question being asked by a team of emergency planners who met in the town on Saturday.

More than 30 people, drawn from councillors and officers from local authorities, Environment Agency, Romney Marsh Inner Drainage Board and Sussex Police, took part in the discussions.

The exercise was part of the national flood handling Exercise Watermark, run by DEFRA as part of the recommendations after the serious and widespread 2007 floods.

Homes at Rye’s Tilling Green estate came within inches of flooding after heavy rains last March left rivers and water-courses at breaking point.

Taking part in Saturday’s exercise were the Rye Emergency Reaction Group (REACT) who have been carrying out their own investigations into local flood risk.

Chairman, Colonel Anthony Kimber, who worked for the military as an emergency planning advisor, said: “Rye is a community at the confluence of three rivers and close to the coast.

“This was a structured consideration of flood risks in Rye District using a worst case scenario of high tides, prolonged heavy rain, saturated ground and high river levels.”

Issues covered at the meeting included how emergency services would be co-ordinated in the event of a flood and the best way to give the public prior warning of flooding risk.

Continued on page 2