One in six English homes at risk of flooding
by Gill Montia
Story link: One in six English homes at risk of flooding
With latest predictions on climate change warning of rising sea levels and higher winter rainfall, the Environment Agency has calculated that £20 billion will need to be spent on flood defences in England by 2035.
The government department puts one in six homes at risk of flooding and wants the current annual flood defence budget of £570 million increased to £1 billion.
According to a report in The Times, electricity, water and gas suppliers are threatened as well as households, with some crucial operations located in high risk areas.
The efforts of emergency services to deal with flood victims could also be hampered because police, fire and ambulance stations across the country may find themselves under water.
The list of potential disruption goes on and even includes designated flood evacuation facilities located in flood risk areas.
The Environment Agency is proposing that homeowners be offered incentives to make their own defences, with their efforts reflected in cheaper insurance premiums.
At the same time, social landlords could be encouraged to provide insurance cover for the less well off by adding the cost to rent.
The Agency’s assessment also estimates that over 2.4 million properties are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea in England, of which nearly half a million are at significant risk.
Fifty-five per cent of those living in flood risk areas know they are at risk and three out of five have taken some action to prepare for flooding.
Around 430,000 people have now signed up for the agency’s Floodline Warnings Direct service.