Vigilance urged as flooding expected to continue Environment Agency warns

06/01/2024

Vigilance urged as flooding expected to continue, Environment Agency warns

Flooding is expected to continue on Saturday and the public should “remain vigilant”, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.

By 3.30pm on Saturday, 210 flood warnings and 217 flood alerts were in place in England and significant flooding was forecast in parts of the Midlands, Lincolnshire and on the River Thames.

More than 1,800 properties have flooded due to saturated ground, the EA said, adding that the impact of high water levels are likely to continue over the next five days, and many rivers will remain elevated.

Cold weather is also forecast from Saturday.

Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Significant river flooding impacts are still expected today and over the next few days across parts of the river Thames in Oxfordshire as well as the River Trent near Nottingham, and the River Severn, including Gloucester.

“The prolonged wet weather and intense rainfall has led to flooding impacts and our thoughts are with all of those affected.”

A father who spent 11 years developing his business from scratch said it is “heart-breaking” to see the damage caused by flooding that hit his caravan park on Wednesday.

David Walters, 51, worked as a “one man band” to develop Cresslands Touring Park, South Lincolnshire.

On January 3, flood water left everything “drenched”, before receding and breaking the cap off the borehole, which supplies water to the whole site and Mr Walters’ home nearby.

He told the PA news agency: “It flooded a couple of Christmases ago, but historically the river (near the site) has never been above 1.5m. But I had this horrendous feeling the night before because of the saturation and the atrocious weather we’ve had through December and into January.

“As you’re seeing, water rising in such a rapid way heading towards you, you’re almost weirdly paralysed.

“I was just staring at certain elements of my garden, for example, and just watching it creep up and just praying and hoping it didn’t hit my home, which it thankfully didn’t, but everything else got completely drenched.”

He added there has been “no water running” to anything on site since Wednesday due to damage done to the borehole, and the aftermath of the flooding has been clear to see.

“Little play areas that I’ve made out of wood which were at the front of the site are now at the back of the site,” he said

“Debris off the fields that the water has washed through is completely strewn all over everything and everything stinks to high heaven.

“Because there’s no running water, I can’t clean or mop anything.”

An assessment of the premises is to take place on Monday, with the cost expected to be more than £20,000.

Senior leaders at the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Resilience Forum, which provides emergency planning to the area, called on the Government release funding to support residents affected by flooding.

They said if it did, measures would included up to £500 for flooded households, funding to improve homes and businesses’ resilience, reduced business and council tax rates, and business recovery grants.

Leicester deputy city mayor, Labour councillor Adam Clarke, said: “Leicester has experienced the worst flooding event I’ve ever seen, with river levels higher than they’ve been in 60 years.

“More than 100 properties have had to be evacuated that we know of, and many families are today dealing with the catastrophic impact of flooding on their homes.

“Along with local charities and other agencies we are providing as much support as we can, but we need Government funding to ensure that all residents and businesses affected get the help they need.”

More than 300 homes are said to have been flooded in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Speaking to the media on the banks of the Trent in Nottingham on Friday afternoon, floods minister Robbie Moore said the Government had “absolutely” provided enough money for flood prevention.

The Keighley MP said: “In those hard-hit areas we’ve experienced a huge amount of flooding, a huge amount of rain, not only here in Nottinghamshire but down in the Severn Valley in Gloucestershire, as well.”

Asked if there would be compensation for people affected by the flooding, Mr Moore said the Government was “absolutely looking at what measures we can put in place”.

He added that the amount of funding for flood resilience plans had been doubled “from £2.6 billion to £5.2 billion”.

Data from the EA shows almost every river in England to be exceptionally high with some rivers reaching their highest flow on record.

EA crews are reportedly operating temporary pumps, barriers and flood defences to minimise the impact of flooding across the country, and the agency said it has protected more than 45,000 properties.

Risks are forecast to reduce over the weekend but the EA urged the public check for high water levels in their area and sign up for free flood alerts.

Drivers were warned not to pass through floods, because just 30cm of water is enough to float a car.

Published: by Radio NewsHub



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