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Joyce visits flood forecast centre

flood forecastFOLLOWING the recent storms that battered the Pembrokeshire coast, AM Joyce Watson has been to see the Haverfordwest unit responsible for forecasting future floods.

Earlier this month, high tides combined with gale force winds and heavy rain to cause storm surges that breeched flood defences in many coastal areas. Mrs Watson this week met Andy Irving, team leader at Natural Resources Wales’ Haverfordwest base, to learn how local area forecasts help communities prepare for the worst.

Mrs Watson said: “At the height of the floods I knocked on doors in Fishguard, Newgale, Cardigan and Aberystwyth. While residents and businesses were understandably anxious, they were not caught off-guard.

“Through its free Floodline Warnings Direct service and community engagement projects, Natural Resources Wales has helped people prepare for the worst.

“NRW has visited all properties within flood warning areas since 2010. In Solva, for example, since the river flooding of October 2005, it has worked closely with the community to provided individual property protection to everyone who has asked for it. Residents and business owners can deploy non-permanent floodgates when a flood warning is issued – they have to be non-permanent because of National Park rules.

“Whilst these floods were severe, they were not exceptional – we must expect similar conditions in the coming years, perhaps weeks. Flood prevention works and forecasts are key to mitigating the damage.”

Floodline Warnings Direct provides free flood warnings by phone, text or email. It uses the latest technology to monitor rainfall, river levels, groundwater levels and sea conditions 24 hours a day.