LETTER: There is still a need for coastal flood sirens

Just responding to the article regarding the coastal flood alerts, and the mentioned hopeful proposals (again) of the sirens as part of the warning system.

Whereas the ‘new’ systems are, without doubt, ideal, (certainly under favourable conditions) surely it wouldn’t be amiss to reintroduce the sirens as an alternative back-up, or even as an additional measure. It was stated that one reason for the sirens being ineffective, could be due to the wind direction - I have commented about this in the past - that should the wind be “blowing the sound of the sirens out to sea, i.e. away from the town, it would be unlikely that there would be great danger of serious flooding anyway, as an off-shore gale would tend to flatten the waves anyway.

It’s when the wind effect is on-shore which causes the conditions of most concern, in which case people in the streets would most likely have the benefit of hearing sirens.

Television and mains-powered radios etc are fine, so long as the electricity supply is in order. People with mobile phones (which are switched on!) might well receive warning ok, as long as they were out of the noise of the gales etc outside: In the streets it’s a different matter, with a force 9 gale howling, and the phone in your pocket.

I’m not an expert - but I do try and take note of happenings, and from experiences in the 1953 flooding disaster, I do remember what it’s like to be out in the street during the worst scenario, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

By all means retain the phone & other warning devices, but consider seriously the addition and/or alternative of the sirens.

I also realise that these days every service seems to be getting ‘pruned down’ to “save money!”, but we are debating here something more important than wet carpets. Look at some of the photos from the 1953 episode and never under-estimate the sea.

Dave Lascelles