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Friendly Flood Forecast

New Computer Model Shows North Kent Flood Risk

The Friends of the North Kent Marshes urges public to voice their love of the Marshes?

The latest computer modelling showing how huge areas of the North Kent Marshes would disappear under water in a one-in-a-thousand year flood was revealed by the Environment Agency yesterday (Mon 1 March).

The animation showed how the North Kent Marshes might fare under three scenarios in the year 2100:

* if the seawall was reinforced over the next hundred years, the Marshes would flood extensively from the western end;
*with no seawall reinforcement, the wall would sink over time allowing a major flood event to overtop the defences causing water to flood the Marshes almost completely;
*and the third scenario showed what would happen if the seawall was removed, with daily tides lapping at people`s front doors in Cliffe and Cooling.

The presentation at a public meeting at High Halstow village hall came as part of the Floodscape project, a four-year study looking to identify possible flood risk management in the area.Gill Moore of the Friends of the North Kent Marshes (FoNKM) said, To see these computer models for the first time was very illuminating. The Environment Agency are asking for the public`s views on flood management in North Kent but before now we haven`t had the information to be able to formulate a rational view. Now for the first time we are seeing what the EA are really talking about. We know sea levels are rising and the North Kent Marshes will face an ever greater risk of flooding, but this was the detail of how it would probably happen. Through Floodscape we all have a chance to say what we think about this. As the results of Floodscape will be used to prepare a range of possible flood risk management measures for the Marshes, we urge people to have their say. The Environment Agency want to know if people use the Marshes and if they value them. Well, we do. More and more people are coming to enjoy the Marshes. We are already seeing them become more and more a green lung for the people of Medway and North Kent. And we need to tell the Environment Agency that in no uncertain terms ? we mustn`t miss the boat on this.One misconception laid to rest by the Environment Agency`s Thames Estuary Strategy Manager, Peter Borrows, was that to purposefully flood the North Kent Marshes would not alleviate flood risk in London. In fact, it might make it worse, he said.

It is good to know that you can`t sacrifice North Kent to save London, said Gill.

FoNKM are urging those who care for the Marshes to fill in the Floodscape questionnaire, the link for which is on FoNKM`s informative website at http://www.northkentmarshes.org.uk. follow the link on front pageWhilst this might seem a fairly parochial concern it is a reflection of today`s thinking - that old flood plains; drained for agriculture or housing need to eventually revert to their original use - as valves that release the pressure from our inland waterways in times of high rainfall and high tides and are, essentially, nature`s way of dealing with a natural phenomenon that we will never be able to stop.


4th July 2014