Experts say flood prevention work in Looe would cost £10m
WORK to solve the ongoing problem of flooding in Looe would cost more than £10m, experts say.
Looe is one of the most badly affected towns in the county, with up to 40 properties suffering with flooding issues.
An Environment Agency coastal engineer, Nick Ely, said that staff could not get full government funding for such work, but they were also looking at "a range of solutions" to lessen the impact of flooding.
South East Cornwall has taken a battering over the last few days, with the worst storm in 20 years taking its toll.
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Severe floods hit Looe on Thursday night, with less serious flooding Friday night and yesterday morning.
On Friday morning shopkeepers on Fore Street reported up to four inches of water throughout their premises.
Yesterday Sheryll Murray MP and Dan Rogerson MP visited Looe where the pair were also joined by experts from the Environment Agency to look at options and defences put in place by local people.
Looe floods on average twice a year, and although Mr Ely said it’s certainly one of the “highest-risk” communities, government funding is difficult to obtain because it doesn't affect a huge number of homes.
"It would cost upwards of £10m and at the moment the system for allocating funding means we could only get half of that from the government, unfortunately,” Mr Ely said.
"It could be five to 10 years before we could come up with a big, comprehensive solution for this."
The community are being urged to work with the agency on schemes which reduce the impact of flooding.
Mr Ely said said: "We're looking at a range of solutions, trying to satisfy the needs of householders, businesses and fishermen.
"We can look at trying to stop water coming up over sea walls, sealing underneath the quay and trying to dampen the effects of waves."
There are currently 12 flood alerts in Cornwall, and although lower tides today have reduced the risk of coastal flooding, additional rainfall following on from the recent wet weather means that the public should be aware of an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding, as well as disruption to transport.