Flood plans put to the test

FLOOD defences in Ponteland have been given a thorough inspection in a region-wide exercise.

The Environment Agency organised Exercise NEEP on Monday to test its systems for protecting people and property from flooding.

Teams were deployed across the Tyne, Wear and Tees to clear trash screens in watercourses, deploy pumps, close floodgates and build temporary barriers.

And on the Pont and Coquet staff checked flood defences, gates and equipment.

Operations Delivery Specialist Team member Andrew Foster said: “This exercise is designed to test our skills, speed and decision-making during an emergency situation. We put these plans into test every year to ensure that we are well prepared.

“Our climate is changing and flooding will become more frequent in the future so it is vital that our staff are trained and well prepared for any situation.

“We have brought our flood teams and operational staff together for this exercise to challenge their skills and resources, while improving flood resilience for local communities.”