When we get flooded, what is the city’s masterplan?

AUDREY HEPBURN As she was in 1956       Picture: Bud Fraker/Wikipedia

Audrey Hepburn - a REAL star

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Whether you believe in global warming, the polar vortex or UKIP’s homophobic God, as an island city we should all be more concerned than most about this continuing trend of hideous weather.

My friends and family live on the Somerset Levels, a stone’s throw from the lamented River Parrett. They’ve seen their lives and livelihoods flushed away since Christmas.

Hard-working taxpayers like you and I, they’ve been cut adrift by central government and local authorities who have done too little, too late.

All they can do is stand to one side and watch the water cascade into and destroy their homes.

In their case, the problem has been mainly budgetary.

By not dredging the rivers (which need doing properly once every 20 years) the government has saved a few million quid.

That saving is laughable now compared to the cost and loss from this year’s flooding.

Clearly no-one could have predicted this incessant rain and wind.

But should it continue and combine with high tides, what would flooding mean to a city like ours, much of which is below sea level?

Check out the flood maps on the Environment Agency’s website.

You’ll see large swathes of the city including Anchorage Park, Farlington and Southsea have been classified as Flood Zone 3 – meaning the flood risk from the sea is high.

This probably doesn’t come as news to many residents, as their insurance premiums will reflect living in subaquatic locations.

My question is this. When flooding occurs, what is the master plan for Portsmouth?

Having lived my entire life in the city, I’ve never been educated or informed of what to do in these circumstances.

Are there sirens? Are there refuge locations? Where do I get my sandbags?

I don’t want to scaremonger anyone, but do you have an action plan?

If you’re depending on the authorities to save your bacon, as my friends in Somerset will testify, you may be tragically disappointed.

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