LETTER: It’s pathetic that our flood defences have not been improved


Pathetic. No, not the emergency services response to the recent over-topping of flood defences but the fact that we have had since 1953 to put in place a comprehensive defence from the North Sea and obviously have not.

I know much is made of the now-proposed tidal barrier but what on earth is the point of that when we will continue to be reliant on earth banks for the rest of the Haven and virtually all of the Lincolnshire coastline. The real danger is failure of defences not over-topping.

Boston did in fact get off very lightly compared to what would have been if one of the defences had failed when the tide was up. One only has to ask the Environment Agency what could have happened in the event of a defence being breached. Flood water in excess of 2m deep they will tell you.

King’s Lynn is in a similar if not more vulnerable situation than Boston so the very least that is necessary is a Wash Barrier combined with hard engineered coastal defences for the rest of Lincolnshire (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent), on the lines of the Dutch defences. I know, millions or more likely trillions of pounds will be the excuse, but strange how as much as is needed can be made available for HS2, and over a relatively short period.

We are already 60 years behind the continent, a fact borne out by the comparative minor consequences they incurred this time in comparison to 53.

Time for the EA to stop spending its time and money opposing development and time for it to come up with a comprehensive plan to defend our coastal towns and villages.

Time for the MP and the government to find the will and the money to enable it.

The EA can model until the proverbial cows come home, but they did not predict this one nor will they be able to predict when and what the next will be. After all the weather cannot be predicted with any certainty for next week let alone for 10, 20 or 60 years from now,

Climate change may or may not occur. But flooding, unless defences are comprehensively improved, will.

Keith Baker

via email