COMPLACENCY on flooding is not an option — but defences and communication are better than ever, says the Environment Agency.
The agency spoke as Rotherham was lashed by summer storms, although this time around the downpours had nothing on the astonishing weather in 2007 which left huge areas of the borough underwater.
A spokesman, who said the agency had 6,500 staff trained to respond to incidents, added: “We continue to learn and improve how we reduce the risk and impacts of flooding.”
The EA teamed up with Rotherham Borough Council for its flagship £15 million anti-flooding scheme along the River Don and several other schemes.
Among these are specific protection for homes in Whiston, Aston, Aughton, Swallownest, drainage improvements in Wath, and a flooding warning gauge in Whiston.
The EA is also planning £3.3 million of investment over the next four years, which it says will protect 1,000 homes.
The flood alleviation scheme will be extended to Parkgate, a flooding regulator which can divert water away from Catcliffe will be refurbished and a feasibility study into whether to continue the riverside works to Kilnhurst will take place.
There are also plans in the pipeline for a Herringthorpe Valley flood alleviation scheme.
The spokesman added that the EA had invested £6 billion across England on 1,000 new flood defences to protect 480,000 homes and businesses.
But he warned: “It is really important that communities and individuals understand their risks and have plans in place for emergencies they may face so that they are prepared and can take action themselves.”