Flood recovery support offered in Shropshire through new virtual platform
Residents and businesses affected by flooding earlier this year are being given the opportunity to discuss their questions and concerns with local flood recovery experts later this month through a new virtual platform.
In response to the flooding which affected the county in the weeks after Storm Dennis, Shropshire Council has been working with the National Flood Forum (NFF) to set up a ‘Virtual Information Trailer’ which will offer help, support and advice to those who have been affected by the floods in line with current Covid-19 guidelines.
The project is being funded by the Environment Agency and has been extended to cover the Telford and Wrekin area, which also experienced devastating flooding, particularly in Ironbridge.
Staffed by flood recovery experts, the virtual trailer will be a meeting point for anyone who wants to discuss any issues they are facing in the aftermath of being flooded.
It will begin operating from May 27, though appointments can be booked now by calling the National Flood Forum on 01299 403101.
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Heather Shepherd, community support manager and flood recovery specialist for the NFF, said: “Having been flooded myself I understand how traumatic it is. I know that the process of recovery is fraught with a number of stresses and pressures, which is why I would urge anyone who has any flood-related issues or questions to come and talk to us.
"We are here to help, offer advice, signpost you to the best sources of professional support and actively listen to your concerns.”
John Bellis, Shropshire Council’s flood risk manager said: “Under normal circumstances our Flood Risk Management Team would have been out in flooded communities offering advice but this is simply not possible at present.
"Shropshire Council are aware that there are many people across the county who are having to face the difficulties of self-isolating either in temporary accommodation or homes which have still not been repaired after the recent flooding.
"The virtual trailer will be the first time this approach has been tried nationally and it's great news for Shropshire residents.”
Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet lead for drainage and flood management, said: “People living in the Ironbridge Gorge have had to deal with a crippling double blow of the worst flooding in 20 years and subsequently the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are determined to help them however we can going forward and I therefore am happy to support this excellent initiative from our partners in Shropshire. Anything that gives our residents a voice and goes someway to reassuring them has to be welcomed.”
Dave Edwards, partnership and strategic overview team leader at the Environment Agency, said: “We’re pleased to be able to work with partners to continue to engage with communities affected by the recent flooding.
"These virtual support sessions for communities in Shropshire are an excellent platform for us to engage with residents and business owners when we can’t easily meet in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"These sessions mean we can continue to work to protect the public and the environment.”
Appointments for the virtual trailer must be booked in advance.