Anniversary of Fleetwood floods marked

THIS weekend is the 30th anniversary of the worst floods ever to hit Fleetwood.

On the November 11, 1977, the North West coast experienced its worst coastal flooding event. Over 5,000 properties and 7,900 acres of agricultural land was flooded.

The flooding was caused by a Force 10 storm, gusting to Force 12, over the Irish sea, which caused tides to reach a level of 24ft.

The flooding was extensive with homes, businesses, public buildings, water treatment works, roads and electricity all affected.

Thankfully, there was no loss of life and no serious injury despite flooding reaching ceiling levels in some basements flats.

The storm was unexpected and at the time, there were no arrangements for giving advanced warnings to the public.

Thirty years on, over 11,110 homes and businesses in Lancashire can receive free flooding warnings direct to their home phone, mobile, text message, fax or email.

A further 1,546 properties in Cumbria, which was affected to a lesser extent by the 1977 floods, can also receive these warnings.

The Environment Agency is encouraging people to learn from these events and prepare for flooding.

Ian Rowlands, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager for Lancashire, said: "This anniversary is a reminder of the seriousness of flooding. We can prepare and protect against frequent flooding, but we cannot prevent all flooding.

"To find out if you are at risk, if your property can receive free direct flood warnings and what to do in case flooding does occur call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit our website"

Since the 1977 floods, 15 tidal flood defence schemes have been completed in Lancashire including works at Crossens Pool, Knott End and Freckleton to Lea and a further 13 have been completed in Cumbria.

During the tidal flooding events on November 11 and 12, 1977, there were approximately 60 breaches of flood embankments. The worst effected towns included, Knott End, Pilling, Morecambe, Fleetwood, Blackpool, Crossens and Haverigg.

No loss of human life was reported during the flooding but the flooding of agricultural lands resulted in the loss of over 900 cattle, sheep and pigs and 6,800 poultry.

Sea levels reached 6.5m at Barrow in Furness, 6.2m at Fleetwood, 7.5m at Preston and 6.1m at Liverpool.