Letters December 8: Flood banks alone will not hold back a surge

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From: John Goodman, Grove Close, Beverley.

THE recent completion of the tidal surge flood defence work on the Humber bank in Hull has again highlighted the need for improved protection from this ever present threat.

Earlier this year the Environment Agency informed me that it did not know what the worst case scenario could be for a tidal surge, it was investigating and the work would take two years. Approximately £600m has been spent on raising the 240km of flood banks around the Humber Estuary and a further £100m is proposed to be spent on this work. It is widely accepted that the present proposals will not achieve the required flood protection. The Flood Minister Rory Stewart has questioned the policy of raising the banks, suggesting it could cause greater problems than it solves. The Minister is right, raising the banks and therefore the level of the Humber will result in a catastrophic disaster if any failure of the banks should occur.

The Americans have protected St Louis with a surge barrier. The only guarantee of tidal surge protection is a Humber Barrier. A barrier also provides the means to create port facilities along the length of the Estuary, as well as hydro electricity, huge irrigation resources, water based recreation and improved surface drainage.