By Eric White
ESSEX County Fire and Rescue Service has secured 20 portable flood barriers to help protect homes across the County from flooding.
The flood defence barriers help disrupt floods by diverting water safely into nearby drainage systems, rivers and ditches.
Funded by Essex County Council, the barriers will be dispatched from four fire stations across the County.
Despite being able to create such a large and effective barrier, the Water Gates are highly portable and each fit into a small holdall, weighing less than 20kg each.
The barriers can also be connected, creating a barrier totalling 180m.
Station Officer Duncan Lewis, Technical Fire Safety, said: “Our water barriers will provide an additional defence to properties at risk of flooding while building confidence in communities.
“They are easy to assemble and to pack away, they are light and they are effective against surface water floods, burst hydrants and even tidal surges.
“Flooding can devastate homes and ruin lives. By further collaborating with Essex County Council, we are helping make the County a safer place to live.”
The Service teamed up with Essex County Council’s flood and water management team in 2013 under the banner Essex Flood and Water Management Alliance.
The partnership was created to help reduce incidents of flooding in the County by finding the cause of floods and then working with communities to fix the problems which have led to streets and homes becoming water logged.
The new barriers extend this work and give the Service better resources to save homes and buildings from the misery of flooding.