Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 28th January print edition.
Last week Storm Christoph swept across large parts of the UK, bringing with it the devastation of flooding to families and businesses alike. Parts of Rolleston, Branston and Marchington suffered the all too familiar misery of flood water. Torrential rain and flood alert warnings were issued for the Rivers Dove and Trent and the River Dove burst its banks resulting in roads being cut off and the worry of damage to property. Whilst the flooding was not on a level with the damage caused a year ago by Storm Ciara, it was still severe and is something that residents should not have to suffer on a regular basis. We still have some way to go with the winter weather and although the situation across the constituency has improved, and water levels have now receded, I have been in frequent contact with the Environment Agency to monitor the situation as well as pushing the Government to see what can be done to limit any potential damage.
Back in October I took part in a Westminster Hall debate on flooding, looking ahead to exactly this time of year when flooding is prevalent, and urging the Government to ensure plans were in place to respond in whatever way necessary whilst the country is still in the grip of the COVID pandemic along with the difficulties that entails. This week I am having a further meeting with the Environment Agency to discuss the local flooding issues here in Burton and Uttoxeter. I am asking constituents to share their experiences, or if they have a potential flooding concern to get in touch with me, so that I can raise them directly with the Environment Agency.
It is encouraging to know that the Environment Agency have staff on shift 24 hours a day who continuously monitor river levels and they have also visited the communities of Marchington, Rolleston and Branston to see the problems first-hand.
I would urge constituents to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves from the risk of flooding. This can be done by keeping up to date with the latest flood information at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding or check out the live flood warning map at https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/map You can also sign up for free flood warnings by contacting Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or downloading the Smartphone Flood Alert App for free.
We should always be looking for more ways to give the best possible protection to our local communities against these devastating weather events