New flood warning sign installed in Rothbury to help deal with deluges

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An electronic flood warning sign has been installed by the Environment Agency at Rothbury riverside.

The nine-foot tall LED sign will inform residents and road users when the town’s flood gates will be closed to protect properties.

It has a visual display that posts messages for passers-by to read, giving them ample warning about the movements of the flood gates, before and after any forecast severe weather conditions.

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Tristan Drought, flood and coastal risk management team leader at the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “The flood warning sign is a great new way for us to update residents in Rothbury and those visiting the area that the gates will be closing, giving them plenty of time to prepare and take action ahead of potential flooding in the town.

Rothbury flood wardens, Duncan and Fran Elson.Rothbury flood wardens, Duncan and Fran Elson.
Rothbury flood wardens, Duncan and Fran Elson.

"It will work alongside our other warning measures such as the issuing of flood alerts and warnings through text alerts and our website.”

The new flood warning resource can be operated remotely by the Environment Agency’s incident and field operation teams.

It has been welcomed by two of the town’s current flood wardens, Duncan and Fran Elson.

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“The sign will benefit all residents of Rothbury by making them more aware of what is happening in the town, in the build up to any potential flooding incidents,” said Duncan.

The Environment Agency LED flood warning sign in Rothbury.The Environment Agency LED flood warning sign in Rothbury.
The Environment Agency LED flood warning sign in Rothbury.

Duncan, aged 73, and Fran, aged 70, have been flood wardens for 12 years.

Duncan, a retired photographer, said: “When we saw what had happened to local properties we just got stuck in, and helped where we could.

"I started with a wheelbarrow and a brush but ended up photographing the damage so residents could get on with cleaning up while retaining a record for the insurance companies.

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“Fran went from a helping hand to coordinating accommodation and fundraising for those effected. Becoming flood wardens was the next natural step.”

Fran said: “Our advice would be to get involved. Try and find out if your local town or village has a group and put your name down to help out – as it provides wonderful community spirit.”

If you would like to volunteer as a flood warden in Rothbury please email [email protected]

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