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Military units support flood defence checks

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

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Military personnel have joined the Environment Agency in the inspection of flood defences across the South West.

The checks began yesterday, and the Agency will be inspecting more than 30,000 flood defence assets across the region. This will include installations around the region's coastline, from Bristol to Bournemouth, and along the many thousands of miles of main rivers in the West.

Agency surveyors and engineers will then take action at sites which need work.

Flood defences have been put under significant pressure following the wettest winter since 1766, combined with high tides and storms.

West Somerset Council has submitted a bid for Agency funding for a major project to extend sea wall protection, provide rock armour and pin certain sections of the cliff between Blue Anchor and Watchet in Somerset, and Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger was planning to speak to Nick Gupta, Agency manager for the South West, about the bid yesterday.

Personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF have been trained by Environment Agency asset inspectors and can now support the assessment.

"This is a huge task for the Environment Agency, with miles of coastline, river banks, defences, including over 30,000 assets, to be inspected throughout the South West. The support we are receiving from the military is fantastic. It will allow us to complete this review rapidly and identify priority sites for repair," said Neal Ricketts for the Environment Agency.

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