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17 March 2014, 14:24
A network of flood wardens has helped Cheltenham Borough Council during the severe winter storms by monitoring local rivers and streams for signs of potential risk.
Now, the council would like to extend the network.
The role of a flood warden is to keep and eye on watercourses and use their own local knowledge to recognise and report flood risks. They could also relay messages about potential flooding to others in the area they cover, and provide emergency services with important information in the event of a flood.
Those who volunteer for their area will be invited to a briefing which will take place later this spring. The briefing will give further details of the role and lines of communication.
The network of flood wardens means that the council can also relay warnings, alerts and information back out to the wardens.
Geoff Beer, Principal Engineer at Cheltenham Borough Council, says: ''Flood wardens provide us with valuable information for flood risk areas. During severe storm events, flooding can occur at numerous locations simultaneously and monitoring every potential flood risk area is extremely difficult. This is why the wardens are so essential to us, because they are contacting us with the most up to date information which would otherwise go unrecorded.''
Councillor Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing, safety and communities, adds: ''The wardens offer a valuable resource to the council and local communities in the fight against flooding, which is why more volunteers are needed to extend this great network. Even if it's just a phone call to us saying that a river level has got higher, we can use that information to see what areas are under threat and take the necessary action''
Flood wardens should not place themselves in any danger; take responsibility for moving or protecting anyone's property, or clear ditches or culverts.
Their role is primarily to observe and report. If you would like to sign up to be a warden in your neighbourhood, please email Hannah Wight, strategy and engagement assistant on: Hannah.Wright@cheltenham.gov.uk or call 01242 775156.