Title: Local Communities Unite to Rebuild after Devastating Floods in East Devon
In the aftermath of destructive floods that wreaked havoc on homes, businesses, and a school in East Devon, local communities have come together, highlighting the urgent need for improved flood defenses in the area. Heavy rainfall on Tuesday, May 5, caused extensive damage, particularly in Newton Poppleford, Tipton St John, Metcombe, and Venn Ottery, where the force of the water left a trail of destruction in its wake.
Unforeseen Impact on Residents:
Witnessing the overwhelming force of water rushing through her garden and home, Hilary Pinfold from Newton Poppleford described feeling helpless. The floodwaters knocked over walls, a fridge, and even moved their car. Hilary expressed the shock she and her neighbors felt, struggling to comprehend the sheer volume and power of the water. The consequences were dire, with collapsed walls, potential damage under the house, and substantial losses of personal belongings.
Community Resilience Shines Through:
The response from the local community in aiding the affected residents has been nothing short of remarkable. Hilary praised the “absolutely brilliant” efforts of fellow community members who came together to clean up the village. Demonstrating their solidarity, the local pub, The Cannon Inn on Newton Poppleford High Street, even transformed into a temporary fire station. Stephen Tingey, the pub landlord, received a request from the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to use their car park as a base due to its elevated position. The pub staff provided essential sustenance, ensuring firefighters were fueled with tea, coffee, and snacks as they tirelessly battled the torrents of water.
Stephen shared the unfolding events: with the arrival of the first two vehicles, the fire service presence steadily grew, eventually accommodating multiple fire engines, vans, and even a boat. The pub staff extended their operating hours, providing refuge for villagers unable to return to their homes due to flooding. In a display of unwavering community spirit, the pub remained open late, serving food to those affected.
Building a Comprehensive Response:
Simon Jupp, the Member of Parliament for East Devon, engaged with affected residents and school leaders at Tipton St John Primary School, who expressed concerns about the possibility of future flooding. In response, Mr. Jupp has reached out to the Environment Agency, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, emphasizing the importance of addressing issues such as blocked drains and damaged road surfaces. His goal is to facilitate a comprehensive multi-agency plan that offers support to impacted individuals and devises a strategy for a more resilient future.
The devastating floods in East Devon have sparked a remarkable show of unity among local communities. Together, they have banded together to assist those affected, demonstrating a strong community spirit. As efforts continue to rebuild and address the root causes of the floods, residents can take solace in the fact that they are not alone in their struggles. With the commitment of various organizations and the collective determination of the community, East Devon can work towards developing robust flood defenses and ensuring the safety and security of its residents in the face of future challenges.