Abuse hurled at Mevagissey flood wardens
MEVAGISSEY flood wardens are being hurled with abuse nearly every time they venture out to help people during the deluge, one has told.
On Friday this paper witnessed one driver abuse the volunteers before driving off at speed, sending a wave into properties and over wardens and onlookers.
Kim Andrews is among a core group of four or five who go out in all weathers to help, with others lending a hand when they can.
The flood wardens' role is to keep an eye on the water and offer information about the consequences, and help homes and businesses when the water rises.
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She said the incident which occurred close to the Ship Inn during the Valentine's Day storm is not unusual.
The driver first threw a profanity in the direction of Miss Andrews and then decided to drive straight through the water at speed.
Miss Andrews, 54, said: "They went from 0mph to 60mph to create an impressive bow wave.
"In the space of 20ft they soaked everyone standing there who was either trying to help or monitoring the situation.
"It pushed the water into people's businesses and homes – it was just a tantrum because we stopped them briefly to say, 'please do this'.
"We do not have an official standing and we're not telling people what to do.
"We're not in uniform laying down the law. We're just keeping people informed of the situation when they are approaching the water but some don't respond well."
Back in November 2010 homes and businesses were ravaged by flooding in the picturesque fishing port and the village set up the Mevagissey Flood Watch and warden scheme.
Although Mevagissey has escaped fairly unscathed by the recent storms the wardens have been kept quite busy since new year.
Miss Andrews explained: "Back in 2010 I was living in the Square and when it flooded I was in a first-floor flat. My damage was minimal in comparison. But I was trapped in my flat and unable to get out. People helped me out and came with brooms and buckets."
Now she lives away from the flood zone and became a flood warden in a bid to give back to the community.
"People have been there for us when we have needed it and we want to do the same for them – that's what village life is about," she added.
Miss Andrews emphasised that although there are abusive drivers, they are among the minority.
"The majority we deal with are grateful for the help and advice," she added.
However, Miss Andrews said she is concerned the behaviour of the few could deter residents who would make great wardens.
She said: "These people may be really good flood wardens, and are caring and kind.
"But they are put off by the fact there's a good chance at least once a night someone is going to call you something unprintable and you've got to be able to take it on the chin."
To find out more about becoming a flood warden visit the Facebook page Mevagissey Flood Watch.