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How did the Community Respond to the Flood?

Following the flood disaster at Lynmouth a number of things were done as part of a flood management programme to try and prevent a repeat of the devastation.    These measures were all aimed at increasing the capacity of the entire catchment area of the East and West Lyn rivers to cope with very sudden and heavy rainfall over a short period of time so that flash floods would not occur.  


Consolidate your thinking 

Look carefully at the following images and films of the East and West Lyn rivers and the village of Lynmouth today.  What evidence can you see of the things that have been done as part of the flood management plan.  How will each of these things help to reduce the likelihood of a serious flash flood happening again?

old and new

This Gallery shows images of modern day Lynmouth including many of the flood defence measures put in place after the flood.


This film shows the immediate aftermath of the flood.


This film from 1957, five years after the disaster shows some of the work being done to repair the village and make it more resilient to flooding.

See also the following sources of information:

How many of the following flood management measures did you identify?

  • The mouth of the East Lyn river where it flows out into the sea was made much wider;
  • The course (or route) of the West Lyn river was made much straighter;
  • The West Lyn river was allowed to follow its original course to the sea rather than being redirected once again;
  • Building restrictions were put in place in Lynmouth with areas close to the river which are most prone to flooding being left as open spaces such as parks and car parks;
  • Replacement bridges were made wider and taller and often of wood rather than stone;
  • Stone and concrete embankments were built alongside the rivers;
  • The confluence of the East and West Lyn rivers in the centre of Lynmouth was widened and lined with 15m high walls.

Go to Investigation 4 -  How might Climate Change influence flood management in the future?