Alert system required

SOMERSET Regional Council has called for a new alert system to be put in place to minimise the loss in the event of another flood.

Council will submit a request in the coming weeks to the Commission of Inquiry into the floods to ask for the installation of a warning system below Wivenhoe Dam.

Somerset Regional Council CEO, Robert Bain, said residents downstream of Wivenhoe Dam needed a system in which they have more time to prepare for a flood event.

“We are not attributing blame for what happened in this particular event, we are just asserting that there needs to be a better system in place,” he said.

“We had a lot of difficulties with communications down and it would be better if we were to be proactive and suggest improvements now.

“We need a few measures in place because some can go down and then there is no way of letting the residents know.

“Our estimated time period between releases and when the water hits Wivenhoe Pocket is 35-40 minutes, which is certainly not enough time to warn them.

“This time we had email and SMS that went out, but no one system is perfect.”

Mr Bain said there had been suggestions that air-raid sirens would be suitable.

“We need something else, in case the internet or mobile phone system doesn't work,” he said.

“We need to manage something like this better to give the residents more notice to give them as much time as possible to get what they can or get in their cars and leave.”


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