A MAJOR new campaign has been launched to ensure those living on the coast are prepared in the event of coastal flooding.
With the anniversary of the 1953 floods fast approaching, East Lindsey District Council, Environment Agency and Lincolnshire County Council are launching a six month campaign to increase the number of households that have completed a flood plan and signed up to receive flood warnings.
Portfolio holder for emergency planning at ELDC, Councillor Tony Bridges, said: "Our coastline is now better protected than ever before, and we work closely with our partners to ensure we have plans in place to cope if flooding does happen, but local residents and communities can take simple steps to help reduce the risk and that's what our campaign aims to achieve.
"We're keen to encourage people who are at risk of flooding to Make a Call and Make a Plan. Sign up to the Environment Agency's free warning service, Flood line Warnings Direct, to receive the earliest possible warning if flooding is predicted. Complete a Flood Plan for your household so you know what to do in a flood related emergency. Some towns and parishes have already created their own flood plans and for those who haven't we'd ask that this is given some serious consideration."
On January 31, 1953, coastal defences in England and other European countries were overtopped and washed away causing widespread damage and devastation. On the east coast of Lincolnshire, despite a mass evacuation of the area, 42 people died.
Bud Shields, a Sutton on Sea resident who witnessed the 1953 floods, said: "I heard someone shouting, wanting to get out.
"Mr and Mrs Grundy who lived near the workshop wanted to get out of their house so I helped them out with a ladder; while I was up this ladder I saw part of the Beach Hotel suddenly collapse with white water rushing towards where I was standing. It was terrifying.
"Because coastal flooding hasn't happened for nearly 60 years people don't think it will ever happen again or they have never known about it in the first place so it never enters their minds."
People living in coastal areas are asked to sign up for the free flooding warnings service, Flood Warning Direct by calling 0845 9881188 or download a template Community Emergency and Flood Plan at www.lincolnshireprepared.co.uk