Alone No More Philip George & Anton Powers
20 November 2013, 12:40
A report into the devastation caused by flooding in Newcastle on 'Thunder Thursday' in June 2012 has been released.
One of the main findings of the report is that everyone has a responsibility to make the city more resilient against extreme weather events.
A month's rain fell inside two hours, flooding 500 homes and causing millions of pounds worth of damage.
Despite stretching agencies to the limit, the report commended council staff and its partners for a 'very good response' and 'good levels of co-ordination.'
It found that the council and its partners 'served the city well' - but there were also steps that residents can take to protect their properties and their neighbourhoods.
For example, increase the permeability of their driveways, use water butts, keep drains and gullies clear and install flood protection products like flood doors.
The report also commended the leadership role played by the council in responding to a collapsed culvert in Newburn which coupled with torrential rainfall led to massive structural damage and the eventual demolition of a block of flats.
* The council's response was good, but it warned future responses could be weakened by budget cuts
* The council worked well with its partners but there was scope for improvement
* Everyone has a responsibility to take measures to make the city more resilient and protect themselves
* The city needs to consider flooding in all of its activities
Cabinet will consider the report and its recommendations on Wednesday, November 27th.
The leader of the city council, Coun Nick Forbes, told Capital:
'This report demonstrates Newcastle at its best. The resilience and willingness of people to help each other was inspiring.
I welcome it, and call on all relevant organisations to respond positively to its recommendations. It shows the magnificent response from our staff and partner organisations, but also that everyone has a part in making the city more resilient to the devastation caused by extreme weather.
In these times of Government cutbacks I am very conscious of the challenges councils face in providing public services including dealing with emergencies. If something like Thunder Thursday happened again, I fear that the council may not be able to respond quite so effectively so I intend to raise the issue of resources with Government."
You can see a copy of the full report here