UK weather: Govt told to ‘wake up and smell the flood water’ amid warning more homes will be affected | UK News
The government is being urged to “wake up and smell the flood water” following Storm Henk – amid fears that climate change is making extreme weather events more common.
More than 1,800 properties have flooded after heavy downpours fell on already sodden ground, and the Environment Agency has warned more homes will be affected as river levels remain high.
Follow latest updates on the UK floods
Mary Long-Dhonau, a long-time campaigner for flood resilience, has told Sky News that she believes the government has failed to do enough to prepare for such a storm.
She is urging Rishi Sunak to visit flooded communities, and see first-hand what homeowners are going through after their properties were “absolutely devastated”.
“Having filthy, stinking flood water violate your home is absolutely awful. Your home is your castle and people naturally want to look after it,” Ms Long-Dhonau said.
The campaigner, who has experienced the impact of flooding for herself, warned affected families will now have to “project manage a building site” while their homes are repaired.
She also called for farmers to receive greater support after their fields were inundated with water, and said natural flood management measures must be introduced nationwide.
The government has unveiled a financial package for eligible areas in England that have suffered exceptional localised flooding.
Flooded households can receive £500 in cash to assist with immediate costs, council tax relief for at least three months, and up to £5,000 to make their properties more flood resilient in the future.
Support is also being made available to businesses – with grants of up to £2,500 so they can reopen.
Meanwhile, farmers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their land are eligible to receive as much as £25,000.
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‘Remain vigilant,’ Environment Agency warns
While rainfall has subsided, river levels remain elevated and are expected to stay this way for several days.
According to the Environment Agency (EA), parts of the River Thames in Oxfordshire – as well as the River Trent near Nottingham and the River Severn including Glocuester – are cause for concern.
As of 1am on Sunday, 192 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – are still in force. There are also 207 flood alerts that indicate flooding is possible.
Emergency responders are using temporary pumps, barriers and defences in an attempt to stop further homes and businesses from being flooded.
EA flood duty manager Katharine Smith said: “We urge people not to drive through flood water… it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”
Check the latest weather forecast where you are
Mostly dry today
Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler says showery rain in the North and North East will fizzle out over time – and there will be a few showers in the South and South East, too.
She added: “Elsewhere, it’ll be dry with some good sunny spells where the fog clears.”
Daytime temperatures are set to remain below 5C (41F) for many – and the UK Health Security Agency has a cold weather alert in force until Friday.
However, the weather is set to be fairly settled over the next few days, and the Met Office currently has no warnings in force.