On a dark rainy evening just before Christmas we issued Portreath Community Flood Warden group with their high viz jackets and trousers, as they put the finishing touches to their flood action plan. Then we all took to the streets of Portreath for a ‘rehearsal’ – a practice that turned out to be well timed given last week’s events.
Led by Cornwall Councillor Joyce Duffin, the Portreath flood group has spent the last two years working through the Communities Prepared plan cycle supported by ourselves, the Environment Agency, Cornwall Community Flood Forum and Cornwall Council. Over this time, the group has grown to be nearly 20 strong but the biggest growth has been in confidence. When the forty foot breach in the harbour wall appeared last week during Storm Eleanor, the group was already in action. They worked alongside the emergency services, keeping residents informed and running a place of safety. We’re so proud of what the wardens have achieved and hope other groups will be encouraged by it. The flood preparedness cycle takes hard work and resolve – these volunteers give up a lot of their time to get ready to support their community. We all hope that the training will never actually be put to the test – nobody wants a community to flood – but Portreath has demonstrated that it works. Well done everyone!
Here’s a taster of last week’s events:
” Groundwork should be very pleased with the results of the activity. It made a huge difference and the whole process so much more responsive. A huge thank you from me. The group were awesome!” Arthur Roberts, Resilience and Emergency Officer, Cornwall Council
“It was great to be part of such a massive team effort. We door knocked and handed out evacuation letters. We used the plan to book the hall and call on our tea ladies. The high viz clothing is so cosy! The flood wardens got lots of compliments from the services and residents!” Cllr Joyce Duffin, Portreath Flood Warden Co-ordinator
All in all, Big Lottery Fund money well spent!