Flood response on the agenda - but sirens will not return

Flood warnings have been issued today by The Environment Agency.
Flood warnings have been issued today by The Environment Agency.
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Key figures behind the response to Boston’s floods will meet this Friday to look at how they were tackled.

The Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, containing emergency services and councils, co-ordinated the reaction after the Haven burst its banks on December 5.

Some residents have been critical over the fact that Boston Borough Council did not have any sandbags. It is thought issues such as these could be discussed by senior figures on Friday.

One matter unlikely to change is the use of ‘flood sirens’. The Second World War sirens were phased out in December 2009 and are not on the cards to return.

A forum spokesman said: “They are now very difficult and costly to repair due to their age and are temperamental – often not activating when tested. It was felt that sirens were also confusing and distressing for many people and did not give a clear message as to what action people should take, compromsing safety and also could not alert only certain communities in a specific area.

“Contrary to the belief that sirens signalled evacuation, they actually signified that people should stay in their homes and listen to local radio.

“We are not planning to review this decision. We are actively encouraging people to sign up for the Environment Agency’s Flood Warnings Direct system will alert people to the likelihood of flooding in their area via mobile phones, and directs people to Floodline or www.environment-agency.gov.uk for further information.

“The Environment Agency has been successfully providing telephone flood warnings since 1996.”