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Flood maps warnings: More sign up to Floodline

A graphic interpretation of Environment Agency information by Boston Borough Council's communications department has led to an increase in people signing up for automated flood warnings.

The team used the flood risk information to produce maps for the Boston and East Lindsey areas indicating zones at risk of tidal flooding and detailing how many properties were at risk and how many of those property owners had actually signed up for the free Floodline warnings.

A Boston Borough Council spokesman said: "The intention was to point out to people in as direct a fashion as possible that they live in a flood risk area where some of their neighbours have signed up for warnings of flood. We wanted to suggest that if it was a good and sensible thing for those living in the same flood risk area to do, then they should do likewise.

"Our media partners in this campaign, the Boston Target and the Boston Standard newspapers, published the maps and the information in full, helping to spread the message."

In some areas where thousands of properties are at risk only a few hundred have registered with Floodline.

Throughout the tidal flood risk areas of Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils those registered to Floodline rose from 13 per cent in December to 13.6 per cent in March.

Boston borough's total rose from 12.6 per cent to 13.7 per cent (up by 398 to 4,591) and East Lindsey's from 24.6 per cent to 25.2 per cent (up 202 to 8,263).

While these may seem small percentage increases they are significant given the slow rate of sign-up so far. In the Boston borough area, however, that still leaves more than 35,000 properties not registered with Floodline and almost 27,000 not registered in East Lindsey.

The Floodline early-warning scheme  is free of charge and provides a telephone call to a landline or mobile to give advance warnings of potential flooding.

David Powell, Head of Emergency Planning at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The tidal surge in 2013 proved that flooding can have devastating effects on communities and it is important people are aware if their home could be affected. By signing up for flood warnings from the
Environment Agency you will receive plenty of notice which can help you to protect your home and your family." 

Flood Resilience Advisor Rachael McMahon said: "Despite year-on-year campaigns it remains very surprising that such a small percentage of households are signed up to receive free flood warnings. We hope the message is getting home now. Please don't delay - make that call as it really can make a huge difference."

It is easy to register for flood warnings online at www.gov.uk/flood, or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. You can choose five ways that you would like to be contacted with flood warning messages including phone numbers and email addresses so that whether you are at home or away, you will get the messages.