Colyton event to commemorate one of the worst natural disasters to hit East Devon

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The Environment Agency, together with Colyton Parish Council and Colyton History Society will commemorate the floods of July 1968 with a free exhibition of historic flood photographs and maps.

Residents and visitors are invited to come along and share their experiences or to simply view the photographs on display.

Date: Wednesday 27 March 2019

Opening: 2pm to 7pm

Location: Colyton Town Hall

Chris Khan, Flood Resilience Officer at the Environment Agency, said:

Over 750 people attended a similar event in Sidmouth last year – it was an amazing success with people coming from all over the country. The feedback was very positive and other communities have asked if we could hold another exhibition.

We are very excited to be working with Colyton Parish Council and Colyton History Society on this second event. The exhibition will include many historical flooding photographs and maps from our archive. We would like as many people as possible to come along, share memories and bring any photographs they have.

Devon Communities Together (DCT) will also be attending the event. DCT are working with parishes across Devon, helping communities write their emergency plans.

Colyton Parish Council are currently looking for volunteers to help out in the community in a number of different roles and will be there on the day to speak to anyone who may be interested.

The impacts of the flood in 1968 were immense; bridges collapsed causing roads to close. Sidmouth, Colyton, Honiton, Newton Poppleford, East Budleigh and Ottery St Mary all had significant flood damage whilst the Otterhead reservoir was completely washed away.

Black and white photograph of flood water flowing through Colyton in 1968

Chantry Bridge, Colyton, 1968

A lot has changed since 1968; similar storms still occur but people and businesses are better protected than ever before. In the last 10 years the government has invested more than £6.1 billion in flood risk management work including many flood alleviation schemes across the south west.

There are also tools to help you reduce your own risk of flooding. The Environment Agency send targeted flood warnings to over a million people in England – giving them vital time to prepare for flooding. You can sign up for free flood warnings online or by ringing 0345 988 1188.

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