Wednesday 9 December 2015

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 Posted by Hari No comments Labels: , , , ,
Posted by Hari on Wednesday, December 09, 2015 with No comments | Labels: , , , ,

SOURCE TELEGRAPH: Storm Desmond Floods 'made worse after hundreds of flood defence schemes shelved'
Flooding which brought chaos to Britain and saw thousands of people evacuated from their homes may have been avoided if the Government had not cancelled hundreds of defence schemes. Hundreds of families are spending the night in Red Cross Shelters after Storm Desmond brought record levels of rainfall to the North of England and Scotland, causing already swollen rivers to burst their banks, deluging towns, flooding 2,000 properties and leaving 60,000 homes without power. In Cumbria water rose to first floor windows and the army was mobilised to rescue trapped householders as David Cameron convened Cobra to deal with the growing crisis. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, whose constituency Westmoreland and Lonsdale was severely affected by flooding said that the situation had been made worse because nearly 300 flood defence schemes had been dubbed "low priority" and shelved in recent years. They included a plan for the River Kent in Kendal, where an elderly man is feared drowned. Unprecedented levels of rain has fallen on Britain over the weekend, with rivers across the North of England reaching record heights and Honister in Cumbria recording 13.4 inches of rain in 24 hours, the most rain to ever fall over a 24 hour period. The River Eden in Carlisle reached 20.3 feet, nearly five foot higher than previous records.

SOURCE EXPRESS: £500m and rising – that's the cost of Storm Desmond
The general insurance leader at PwC UK, Mohammad Khan, said: “Our current estimate of the damage caused by Storm Desmond is £400million to £500million with the insurance industry paying out between £250million and £325million. “This compares to an economic cost of £275million and insurer costs of £175million in the 2009 floods. “Clearly these are initial estimates as there is still uncertainty as to the number of properties and businesses affected. If the storm continues, the damage - and therefore the costs - could be significantly worse. Critics have claimed that the Government has cut spending on flood defences, with £810million spent last year compared to £695million last year. In response, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the higher spending last year reflected an emergency injection of cash to help cope with the aftermath of the 2013-14 floods. But Lancaster University professor Gail Whitman, a sustainability expert, said: “Liz Truss’ comment about how the flood defences in Cumbria were only breached because of extreme weather conditions is rather short sighted. Thanks to climate change, extreme weather is the new normal. And that is hugely problematic.”


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