Hastings requires “urgent” long-term measures to prevent future flooding, its MP has said.

The town’s shopping centre was evacuated after the town was hit by flooding last week, with more than 60mm falling in less than 24 hours.

Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye Sally-Ann Hart met with residents and businesses affected by last week’s floods and said they had been “devastated”.

“It was awful to witness their pain,” she said.

Ms Hart has called for an investigation to determine measures that can be implemented “permanently and radically” reduce the risk of flooding.

She said: “We have seen unprecedented amounts of rainfall falling in a short space of time, and the flooding issue needs an all-agency approach.

“Climate change has triggered extreme weather conditions which have proved challenging for our water infrastructure and a long-term, permanent fix is needed.”

The Argus: Sally-Ann HartSally-Ann Hart (Image: David Woolfall/Parliament)

Ms Hart also said attenuation measures, which would reduce the risk of flooding by storing storm water and reducing the peak flow of water, need to be implemented “urgently” in the town.

“Whilst short-term emergency measures are vital, a long-term permanent solution is needed as this issue will happen again and again.”

Hastings was among the places hit by strong winds and heavy rain as Storm Ciarán stuck the south coast yesterday.

Shopfronts reportedly were damaged as gusts of more than 60mph were recorded in parts of Sussex.

A spokesman for Southern Water said the flooding last week was caused by torrential rain and a very high tide, which impeded the town’s surface water drainage.

He said: “We know how traumatic flooding is. Over the weekend, we supported our customers moving the worst affected into hotel accommodation.

“We supported emergency services by bringing powerful pumps to remove excess water from the town centre.

“In the short term, we will be keeping pumps in the town to respond immediately in the event of further extreme rain.

“In the long term, a multi-agency approach will be needed to find measures to prevent future flooding. We will lend our expertise of hydraulic modelling and play our full part alongside the Environment Agency and county and borough councils.”