Felpham seafront closed for ‘emergency’

A major incident will close a section of Felpham promenade on Wednesday, February 29.

The ‘emergency’ will see the Aldingbourne Rife pumping station out of action during severe weather and emergency responders battling to save Bognor Regis.

The Environment Agency will be staging the scenario as a training exercise at Sea Road from 12.30pm-1.30pm.

The promenade will be closed from 10am until 3pm to allow the training to take place.

The pumping station, at Longbrook, pumps river flows from the Aldingbourne Rife under the sea wall and out to sea. The structure is regularly maintained and it is very unlikely it would fail.

David Bonner, the Environment Agency’s flood incident management technical specialist, said: “With the scenario of major flood risk to Bognor and Felpham, the teams will need to swiftly deploy a massive 24-ins diameter pump, the largest portable pump of which there are only ten in the country, to prevent the potential of significant flooding and contamination to the district.

“Essential training such as this provides our officers with the opportunity to exercise and test the equipment needed in a major flooding incident to limit its devastating impact.

“This will enable us to put our staff through their paces and ensure that, should the worst ever happen, we are able to provide an excellent response and, vitally, safeguard communities in West Sussex.”

Such exercises are regularly held at various locations across the region. It does not necessarily mean Bognor is at higher risk from flooding than other locations.

Advice and information on how to protect yourself and your property from flooding will be available for all at the exercise from the Environment Agency’s Floodline trailer.

The trailer will be parked on the promenade from 10am until 3pm on Wednesday.

The Environment Agency has produced simple flooding guides that offer crucial advice on how to protect your home and family - before, during and after flooding. The guides form an essential part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing Flood Awareness Campaign which urges every household and business to check their flood risk by calling Floodline on 0845 9881188 or using the online postcode checker at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.