Investigation Starts Into West Sussex Floods

A big investigation's started into the recent floods in West Sussex.

Around 300 homes were flooded out, roads were swamped, and caravan parks - including two in Bracklesham Bay - had to be evacuated after torrential downpours in June.

A report's being put together to see if anything could be done in future to protect people better.

County Council Leader Updates Communities on Flood Investigations West Sussex County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, has told communities affected by the June floods that the investigation into what happened is being given the highest priority. 

In an update to parish and town councils, she said that all agencies involved are also looking at drainage management and ways of helping to make local communities more resilient in future. 

Louise has told residents that a report into what happened in June is expected to be published in November, and there will be a series of workshops to present the findings to the worst affected communities.

She has also issued a reminder about bids for a share of the Community Flood Fund, set-up by the County Council, and appealed for details of any flood locations that have not been included on a list compiled by the main agencies. 

Her letter says: "As promised I am writing to you to provide you with an update of the current position.

"A timetable has been set for the investigation which is looking to the publication of a report in November. It is proposed that a series of workshops will be set up to present this to the worst affected communities.

"Officers from the various agencies - West Sussex County Council, Arun District Council, Chichester District Council, the Environment Agency and Southern Water - have been compiling a list of locations where flooding is known to have occurred.

"I would be grateful if you could advise of any locations and extent of any flooding that you are aware of that may not have been reported - please could you email these as soon as possible to

"The next stage, starting next week, is the prioritisation of the list and to assign the primary authority responsible for the investigation.

"Various questions have already emerged from various meetings including: 

"Who is responsible for the various sea and river outfalls? 

"Who is responsible for maintaining and enforcing the management of ditches? 

"What contingency arrangements are in place to deal with flooding in Felpham? 

"What storm capacity did the temporary outfalls have on the Medmerry Sea Defence Scheme?

"Why were sluice gates in and around Chichester and the Manhood still set for drought conditions? 

"Why doesn't the County Council just increase the capacity of the drainage system to deal with climate change? 

"The gullies outside my house always have water in - are they blocked/ why haven't you cleaned them? What does a 1 in 200 year event actually mean? 

"Who should my insurance company contact? 

"Why wasn't I given sandbags after I called the council? 

"My road was flooded - why didn't WSCC attend the site? 

"Will I still be able to get insurance if my property has flooded? 

"Will this happen again every year?

"Undoubtedly there will be other questions that residents want answered."