LONDON - An independent review has called for flood prevention to be given the same priority as terrorism or a flu pandemic.
Insurers have put the damage from last summer’s floods at around three billion pounds. In all, 11 people died.
-- In June, the rain caused severe flooding in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands. Some 7,000 homes in Hull and 1,200 in Sheffield were damaged.
-- In July, seven people died when the River Severn flooded in Gloucestershire and over 100,000 people were left without tap water after a treatment works was submerged.
-- In another incident that showed how vulnerable some of Britain’s infrastructure is to flooding, thousands of people lost their electricity supply in Gloucestershire when a sub-station had to be closed. Another, bigger substation only just managed to keep running as flood waters rose.
-- Villages along the River Avon suffered flooding and rising waters along the Thames forced residents to evacuate some 250 homes in Oxford.
-- June 2007 was one of the wettest months on record in Britain, with rainfall across England more than double the average for the month. Some areas received a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.
-- The government has said the flood defence budget will rise to 800 million pound a year from 600 million, but not until 2010-11.
Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Tim Castle