Work has begun to protect more than a thousand homes and businesses in Morpeth in Northumberland, four years after flooding devastated the town.
A number of young oak trees have been removed from the riverside to make way for protective walls.
The work is expected to take until early next year and has been welcomed by residents who think that the work is long overdue.
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The trophy started at Hadrian's Wall before passing through Hexham and Newcastle on its way to Alnwick.
Andrew Pullan's canoe capsized and he was pulled under the water near Barnard Castle in October 2013.
298 people were killed in the atrocity including Newcastle United fans Liam Sweeney & John Alder.