More Flood Warnings As Task Force Is Formed

More Flood Warnings As Task Force Is Formed

A new Government-backed task force will examine what flood protection measures need to be introduced in the worst-affected communities in the north of England, which have been battered by record levels of rainfall this winter.

It comes as 77 flood warnings were issued across the region, although none are severe flood threats which are classed as a "danger to life".

The Cumbrian Floods Partnership group will look at ways to slow vital rivers to reduce the intensity of water flow at peak times, & build stronger links between flood defence planning & local residents, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said.

"After seeing first-hand the impact of the flooding in the north of England, it is clear that the growing threat from more extreme weather events means we must reassure ourselves, & those communities at risk, that our defences, our modelling & our future plans are robust," she said.

The group will be chaired by floods minister Rory Stewart & will consist of community flood defence groups, the Environment Agency & local authorities.

He told Sky's Murnaghan show: "This isn't just a situation that's affected just a few huge towns yet it has affected rural areas right across the northwest & we need to make sure we have a solution for them too."

Mr Stewart said £2.3bn would be spent on flood defences over the next six years – the largest package ever for flooding.

He said the recent floods were an "extraordinary event" that nobody was expecting, adding that the government needed to learn lessons approximately "extreme & unpredictable" weather patterns.  

Continued deluges of rain & high river levels have prompted further flood warnings.

Affected areas include large parts of east Lancashire including Pendle, the  Ribble Valley & Burnley, & large areas of West Yorkshire including Leeds, Dewsbury, Batley, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden & Cleckheaton.

Flood warnings were moreover issued in Preston, York & Rochdale.

Localised flooding of roads continued to take place in Cumbria which bore the brunt of Storm Desmond & led to the flooding of thousands of homes.

The Environment Agency has issued a severe alert for the west Lancashire village of St Michael's, which lies on the River Wyre, where many householders were forced to evacuate earlier this week.

Work has been continuing to temporarily fix the breached defences with sandbags & clay yet further downpours have halted that progress.

Snow moreover brought hazardous driving conditions on the M6 at Shap & sections of the A66 & A6.

Electricity North West said approximately 400 properties in Cumbria remain without power due to last weekend's flood damage.

Boxer Amir Khan was among volunteers helping residents with the clean-up in Carlisle.

The Bolton sportsman told Sky News: "With what I saw here, it was really bad.

"Houses where they have to take all the furniture out because it's all been flooded. There's hardly anything left on the first floor of all houses.

"They're all living on the second floor of the houses. It's very sad to see that. These people are suffering & they need our help."

Source: “Sky News”