Major survey to quiz public over concerns over flooding from Humber

The Humber Bridge. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
The Humber Bridge. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A MAJOR survey is setting out to question people living round the Humber over their concerns over tidal flooding.

The study is part of work being done by the Environment Agency, with 12 local authorities, including Hull and East Riding Councils, to draw up a new 100-year strategy for flood risk management.

The online questionnaire asks people who, apart from the Government, should be funding flood management, and seeks to establish what residents rank in order of importance for protection.

It also tries to assess how people view the estuary - as a source of anxiety, barrier to accessing jobs or valuable habitat.

Why the case for Humber barrier is compelling
The Humber is not only the UK’s biggest carbon emitter, but it also likely to be one of the worst hit areas of the country for flooding in future.

Options being discussed include a tidal barrier which could cost up to £10m, as well as traditional defences and farmland in the inner Humber being used for temporary flood storage.

Earlier this year the Agency released a long-term strategy which is planning for the potential of up to 4C of warming, well beyond the 1.5C or 2C limits agreed internationally, which is expected to drive sea level rise and cause more frequent, intense flooding.

It said at least £1 billion a year needs to be spent on traditional flood and coastal defences.

Environment Agency Humber strategy manager Philip Winn said: “Tidal flooding can have an effect on businesses, agriculture, communities and the local environment, as we saw in December 2013, when 1,100 properties were flooded and there was huge damage around the estuary.

“It’s one the biggest risks faced by people living on the very flat and vulnerable land around the Humber, so we want to involve as many people as possible in shaping the new strategy so that it truly provides a solution for all.

“This public survey is the first stage in gathering input from others, and there will be more opportunities to comment as we develop our plans.”

Serious attention, and more than £100m of funding over five years, has been focused on Hull, the city second most at risk of flooding outside London, following the flooding of 2007, which saw over 9,000 homes and businesses damaged and another 5,000 in the East Riding.

A staggering 98 per cent of the city is defined as “high risk” of flooding, Hull councillor Mike Thompson said: “This risk will only increase with climate change and sea level rise, and your input into how we shape our future plans is crucial.”

Humber Bridge to look at raising barriers
People can find out more about the latest plans for new flood defences at historic Victoria Pier at a stand in Nelson Street tomorrow.

To fill out the survey go to https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/HumberStrategySurvey/