Only 150 register for flood risk warnings

EXPERTS are urging Doncaster residents to sign up for flood alerts after it emerged fewer than 150 homes were made aware of recent flooding risks.

Emergency teams were out on the streets after the Environment Agency issued a flood alert around the River Don and the Ea Beck as levels swelled to worrying levels.

Floods did not arise - but now the agency has revealed only 148 homes are signed up in the borough for the ‘flood alert’ early warning system, which sends messages to residents when the river reaches a level causing concern.

More have signed up for the ‘flood warning service’, with around 8,000 registered for the messages which are sent when flooding is believed to be imminent.

The latest flood alert came after Doncaster was battered by wind and rain, with winds of up to 70mph.

An agency spokesman said: “We are not dismissing what happened. We are still saying people need to be prepared and if they are not signed up for flood alert warnings this is a good time to do so.”

Residents evacuated because of the 2007 floods admitted they were among those who had not signed up for the agency’s text and phone alerts.

Toll Bar resident Gillian Whitehead, who spent time in an evacuation centre in Lakeside in 2007, said she had heard from other people in the community that there was an alert, but said she was not signed up.

She said: “I tend to think they couldn’t stop it last time, so they probably couldn’t if it happened like that again. I don’t worry unduly about it, although I know there are some in the village who start to get worried when there is a lot of rain.”

Tony Riley, of Manor Estate, had to spend nine months away from his home after the 2007 flood in Toll Bar.

He said: “I was aware of the alert, but it didn’t cause us any problems. I haven’t signed up for alerts and I’m not aware of many people doing it. But is something I may do.

“I think people are still worried when it rains here, and there can be a bit of panic.”

Simon Young, who was one of around 20 flooded out at The Paddock, in Askern, said he had signed up for the scheme but had yet to receive an alert.

“My wife gets worried when it rains now,” he said.