The sirens, which alert residents living in flood risk zones in Chiswell, Dorest, are part of a programme of work the Environment Agency is carrying out to improve and maintain flood defences for local residents and in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council councilor, Ian Roebuck, said the new sirens will help prepare Portland Harbour, which will house the Olympic village, for the games.

He said: “The sirens are part of the Environment’s Agency general response to flooding but will play an important role in our emergency planning for the Olympics.”

The sirens will be unveiled and tested by the Agency, which is working closely with Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, on 18 August.

The agency currently alerts Chiswell residents using its Flood Warning Direct service, which sends a message via phone, text or email to warn of possible flooding, more than 90% of residents in flood risk zones are registered to the service.

However, the agency’s flood incident team leader, John Phillips, warned ‘flooding at Chiswell can happen extremely rapidly and the sirens complement our service and allow us to warn residents quickly’.

He added: “We will be writing to all residents in the flood risk zone to inform them of the details of the test as well as putting posters up around the Isle of Portland.

“Our display caravan will be in the Masonic Hall car park during the day for people to come and find out about how to prepare for and cope with flooding.”

The Agency will carry out a short biannual test in September and March, prior to the equinoctial spring tides.

Carys Matthews

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