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Evacuated people can now return to their homes after flooding

Flood sign

Flood sign

Thousands of residents are being advised that there is no longer a need for them to stay away from their homes after yesterday’s flooding.

All partner agencies have agreed, following advice from the Environment Agency, that a phased return can begin with mutual aid support being stood down.

The second high tide did not lead to any major incidents so the closure of rest centres will now be staggered to ensure residents and property owners can return in a safe manner.

There is still a potential for normal winter flooding to affect certain areas and in particular the Broads river system. Some flood defences are described as “battered and bruised” with agencies assessing the need to repair any potential damage over the coming days.

Emergency services will continue to offer assistance to vulnerable members of the community who may need help and local authorities will now be offering transport and support for those few residents unable to return to properties affected by flood damage.

Public Health advice includes:

Norfolk County Council’s Public Health team and Public Health England is offering the following advice to keep you and your family safe returning home after flooding:

• Take care with electrics and gas: do not switch on electrical appliances that have been in contact with floodwater unless a competent electrician has checked them, as there is a risk of electrocution.

• Keep children safe: keep children and pets out of the affected area until the clean-up has been completed.

• Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after each clean-up session and always before eating or preparing food. Do not eat food that has touched flood water.

• Put on protective clothing: rubber boots, an apron and waterproof gloves. A standard face mask, such as those sold in DIY stores, is also a good idea if you are scrubbing, hosing or pressure-washing. Goggles offer added protection and they can be reused after thorough washing. Cover any open cuts with waterproof plasters.

• Using clean water, detergent, then a normal kitchen disinfectant, clean and disinfect work surfaces, plates, pans, cutlery, and plastic/glass chopping boards, before preparing food.

• Powerful disinfectants, such as strong bleach are not necessary and may be harmful to surfaces.

• Thoroughly clean all other affected hard surfaces, including walls, hard-surfaced floors and furniture with hot soapy water, using an ordinary household detergent. Allow to dry thoroughly as this will also help to destroy germs left behind.

For frequently asked health questions related flooding, visit:

http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/EmergencyResponse/ExtremeWeatherEventsAndNaturalDisasters/EffectsOfFlooding/GeneralInformation/floodFloodingFrequentlyAskedHealthQuestions/

For general advice and public information after flooding, visit:

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317140405287

John Ellis, Norfolk County Council’s, Chair of the Norfolk Resilience Forum Programme Board, supported the decision saying: “Thankfully, the second tidal surge this morning was not as severe as initially anticipated which means that people can now begin to return home to their properties.

“There may still be some hazards caused by flooding and we would remind people to continue to listen to the advice of the emergency services and heed the ongoing public health information to ensure that they stay safe.

“Support will be available for more vulnerable residents to ensure that they can return home safely. Plans are also in place to support anyone who is unable to return home due to the flood or storm damage.”

Agencies are now at a stage where the emergency response to the flood risk is reducing with emergency services looking to hand over to local authorities as they help manage the aftermath.

 

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