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Flood map of Kent: 42,000 homes at 'significant' risk

by Tom Sheldrick

Up to 42,000 homes in the county are at "significant" risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency's latest report.

Of the half a million properties under threat across England,
the largest number - over 110,000 - is in the south east.

Shepway is one of the top 10 most threatened local authorities nationally, with up to 10,000 households within the highest risk band in the Environment Agency's 2009 National Flood Risk Assessment.

"Significant" likelihood means there is a one in 75 chance of
flooding in any given year.

The Environment Agency invests over £25million a year to sustain and improve flood defences in Kent and East Sussex.

Harvey Bradshaw, the Environment Agency's area manager for Kent
and East Sussex, said: "It's a measurement of risk, which is
sometimes quite hard to communicate.

"What a one in 75-year probability means is that the likelihood
is that in a 75 year period, there will be one inundation, one
weather event that exceeds the design capacity of the flood

Ted Edwards, vice-chairman of the South East Coastal Group, said: "The South East has the most properties at risk because it's the most developed in the country, and also it does have considerably low-lying land around the coast, which would put properties at risk.

"These areas of land have always been at risk, this isn't new at
this moment. What will change though, with increasing sea levels,
those areas that are maybe now down at moderate risk, because of
their level compared with the storm levels, may move into the
significant risk category in the future.

"There is something to be worried about, but we are doing are
best to ensure that defences are kept in good condition."

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