Tidal Flood Talk Cancelled Because Of Low Tides

floods 2014 quayA new wave monitoring buoy has been installed in the sea to the south west of Scilly, to help better forecast the Westcountry’s coastal flood risk.

It’s one of two additional buoys that have been placed around the UK coast following a review of the winter floods by the Environment Agency. The second one is in the water off the Pembrokeshire coast and that brings the total number to 15.

Neil Ryan, senior flood forecaster at the Environment Agency, says the new buoy offers improved, real-time understanding of sea conditions around south west coast. It will allow for better advice, guidance and warnings to communities and emergency responders about imminent coastal flood risk.

There’s been a focus on Scilly’s tidal surge and flood threat over the last week.

Kevin Barnes from the Environment Agency’s flood awareness group met with locals to explain how the roll out of the coastal flood alert system could provide us with an early warning.

The alert system, already in use on the mainland, will be extended to cover Scilly from October 29th.

Islanders can sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct on the Environment Agency website and will receive free alerts day or night by phone, text or email.

But last week, the Council and Environment Agency’s joint tidal flooding advice presentations didn’t go quite to plan. The Bryher meeting was cancelled when organisers realised that the low tides meant they wouldn’t be able to get a boat there.

Islander Brendan Boulton told Radio Scilly that’s a case of “failing to prepare” and he suggests that it “doesn’t inspire confidence when one of the organisations charged with emergency forward planning can’t read tide tables.”

The organisers say that Bryher locals were invited to attend later meetings on Tresco or St Mary’s.

But Brendan questioned why they should have to spend a day and a return boat fare when they could just have switched the Bryher and Tresco meeting times to work with the tides.