Anger As Storm Damage Reaches £500m

Anger As Storm Damage Reaches £500m

A Carlisle resident has told Sky News that the official who designed the failed flood defences should put their hands up & admit failure.

Alan McDermott was speaking as insurance firms put the estimated damage from the weekend's "unprecendented" rainfall at between £400m & £500m.

Cumbria police said on Monday that up to 6,425 properties may have been flooded & communities in Northumberland & Lancashire were badly affected.

Mr McDermott said: "They said 'we couldn't cope because the volumes are unprecendented'. Well, 38 million went into this… we were here last time. It's not the first time we've experienced it & it didn't work. It just didn't work.

"It's their mistake. That's why it's flooded. There's 38 million pounds & the person who planned it needs to stand up say 'I received it wrong'.

"'Cause we're suffering with this. We suffered last time & we're suffering again & who's to say it's not going to happen in a month's time."

He was speaking after Liz Truss, the Environment Secretary, defended the Government amid claims spending on flood defences has fallen.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said yesterday day-to-day spending on flood management was expected to be £695m in 2015/16 having been £811m the previous year.

The 2014/15 spending came after the Thames Valley & Somerset flooding of 2014 which prompted the PM to say there would be "no penny pinching" & "money would be no object" in dealing with damage.

But DEFRA maintains the day-to-day budget is different to the investment budget which it says is going to increase to £2.3bn over the next six years.

The Prime Minister admitted on Monday that Cumbria's multimillion-pound defences – which were upgraded in 2010 to withstand a "once in 100 years" flood – "weren't enough on this occasion".

Ms Truss told Sky News: "It's completely wrong that we're cutting flood defences.  In fact we're increasing real term spending on building our flood defences.

"We'll be spending 2.3bn (pounds) over the next six years which represents a real terms increase.  In the last Parliament it was 1.7bn & in the Parliament before that it was 1.5bn."

PwC UK said it had worked out that the overall damage from the weekend's floods was £400-500m and, of that, the insurance industry will pay out £250-325m.

The Association of British Insurers said that at least £1bn has to be spent ever year until 2025 if Britain is to be protected from potential flood hazards.

Engineers have restored power to all yet 2,500 Lancaster homes after 40,000 people lost power again overnight with those expected to be reconnected by nightfall.

Sixteen severe flood warnings remain in place across northwest England, signalling a danger to life, & several dozen flood warnings & alerts are still active.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for rainfall across northern England & parts of Scotland, which will be in place from 6am on Wednesday to 9am on Thursday.

Source: “Sky News”