The recent floods in Hastings have highlighted the need for a comprehensive plan to protect the town from future flooding events.
In the aftermath of the floods that devastated Hastings, Southern Water has issued an apology to the residents affected by the tragedy. The head of waste water control at Southern Water, Richard Martin, expressed his dismay at the fact that 16 people had to be evacuated from their homes, emphasizing that such a situation is unacceptable. The floods not only caused damage to homes and businesses but also resulted in significant financial losses for many individuals, leaving them uncertain about the viability of continuing their businesses in the town center.
The floods were attributed to a combination of heavy rainfall, high tides, an overflowing manhole, and a partially-blocked sewer. According to Michael Turner, an Environment Agency manager, Hastings experienced 50mm (2in) of rain in a short period of time, which is a substantial quantity. Mr. Martin acknowledged that Southern Water’s assets were operational, but the sheer volume of water overwhelmed the town. He stressed the need for collaboration with local authorities, including the MP Sally-Anne Hart and the local resilience forums, to develop a comprehensive plan to protect the residents of Hastings.
Conservative MP Sally-Anne Hart echoed the sentiment that these rainfall incidents are becoming more frequent and emphasized the importance of adapting to the changing climate. She called for all agencies to work together to take prompt action to prevent future flooding and mitigate its impact on residents and businesses. The leader of Hastings Borough Council, Paul Barnett, expressed his gratitude to the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for their assistance and pledged to investigate the cause of the flooding and address the failures in the water infrastructure.
The tragic floods in Hastings serve as a wake-up call, highlighting the urgent need for a collaborative and comprehensive plan to protect the town from future flooding events. It is crucial that all stakeholders, including Southern Water, local authorities, and the community, come together to develop and implement effective strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and safeguard the livelihoods and properties of the residents. Only through collective action and proactive measures can the town of Hastings build resilience and ensure a sustainable future.