Weymouth

Weymouth

Weymouth

Weymouth has a population of around 53,000 and is a traditional seaside resort heavily reliant on tourism and seasonal employment. The town has a long history of flooding and experienced some of the worst flooding events in the 1950s and 1960s, when large quantities of water inundated areas including roads and buildings. The most recent flooding was in 2014 during repeated coastal storms.

Issues & Objectives

In Weymouth there are four main areas of flooding risk: (1) Tidal flooding via Weymouth Harbour; (2) Fluvial flooding via the River Wey; (3) Surface water flooding due to rainfall (exacerbated by tide-locking); and (4) Wave overtopping of the seafront

With the impact of climate change leading to rising sea levels and an increase in the number of and intensity of storms, the risk of flooding in Weymouth will greatly increase. The existing harbour walls are already too low to protect Weymouth from major flood events and the sea level in Weymouth is expected to rise a further 1.3m over the next 100 years. For example, it has been estimated that by 2115, 1,600 properties will be at risk of tidal flooding around the harbour alone.

Weymouth also includes areas that are the 20% most deprived of England, with high levels of people on low incomes, multiple-occupancy households, transient populations (people who stay for short periods of time) and people living with disabilities or long-term illness. This can impact on how Weymouth’s community responds to flooding events in terms of awareness, preparation and coping in the aftermath.

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