Portreath, Cornwall

Portreath Flood Group put its Community Flood Plan together in 2016 and developed it throughout 2017. Led by County Councillor Joyce Duffin, a resident of the village, the group recruited 12 volunteers and divided them into pairs in the areas of the village at risk from flooding.

Portreath Flood Group volunteers in PPE
Portreath Flood Group volunteers in PPE

The group participated in all training modules delivered by the Communities Prepared team. They followed the programme’s Preparation Cycle toolkit, which supported them as they developed their plan and implemented key resilience measures, including organising Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and drafting risk assessments.

In December 2017 the group ran a live exercise, which saw them test their flood plan during one dark, wet evening, accompanied by the Cornwall Council Emergency Officer.  It turned out to be just in time!

Portreath Flood Group volunteers check drain levels during the test exercise in December 2017
Portreath Flood Group volunteers check drain levels during the test exercise in December 2017

On 3rd January 2018, Portreath experienced the worst of Storm Eleanor, which destroyed a 20m section of the harbour wall with winds of up 80mph and waves of 8.5m. Putting into practise what they had learnt, volunteers acted swiftly and efficiently, alerting residents and setting up shelter in the village hall, gaining praise from both the emergency services and Cornwall Council for their efforts.

“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-vis clothing is so cosy! The flood wardens got lots of compliments from the [emergency] services and residents!”

Cllr Joyce Duffin, Portreath Flood Group Coordinator.

“You 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 was awesome!”

Arthur Roberts, Resilience and Emergency Officer at Cornwall Council.
Imogen Smith
Imogen Smith
Senior Project Officer, Groundwork South

As Senior Project Officer for marketing and fundraising, Imogen Smith manages the Communities Prepared programme’s communications strategy and delivery, while also working with communities to identify fundraising opportunities to support their longer term sustainability.

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