A STATE-OF-THE-ART camera system has been installed in Halesowen to warn residents about flooding.

The Environment Agency unveiled the new solar powered camera which will monitor Illey Brook to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods of 2008.

The £2, 875 system is the result of five years close cooperation between the Illey Brook Flood Committee, which is made up of flood endangered residents, Dudley Council and the Environment Agency

Founder of Illey Brook Flood Committee Claude Mosseri said: "This special new camera is directed towards the bridge on Manor Way and is also linked to the water level sensor.

"This is a great advance in technology - giving an early warning and monitoring of the water levels and we are extremely privileged to have this equipment."

Environment Agency project manager Jamie Sarginson said: “Around 45 properties suffered severe flooding in 2008 along the Illey Brook.

"Since then both the Environment Agency and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council have been working closely with the Illey Brook Flood Committee to investigate ways to make the community more flood resilient – and this new camera goes a long way to achieving that goal.

He added: “The camera has a high water sensor which will enable us to alert residents approximately one hour before water from the Illey Brook reaches the first property."

Residents will also be able to see pictures from the camera online and on social media site Twitter @B628RW.

Mr Sarginson added: "If the correct settings are added to the individuals’ twitter account, then they will be able to hear an alert when images or alarms are tweeted from the camera’s twitter account."

"The feedback we’ve received from residents has been really positive and we hope it makes a real difference for those potentially at risk of flooding."

Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris was at the camera unveiling ceremony.

He said: “This new camera is an essential tool in protecting the Halesmere estate from the horrific flooding that they suffered in 2007 and 2008.

“This would never have happened without the fantastic work that Ruth and Claude Mosseri – and the rest of the Illey Brook Flood Committee – have done with the Environment Agency and Cllr Vickers over the past few years

Residents signed up to the Environment Agency’s flood warning service will receive an automated call, and those who follow the camera via twitter will receive alerts and photos when the water levels rise significantly.

To receive free flood warnings, check flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, including a three day flood forecast on the Environment Agency website visit www.gov.uk/flood or by calling the Floodline on 0345 988 1188.