UK floods: Prime Minister David Cameron deployed 500 Soldiers to Northern England and a further 1000 on standby

December 28, 2015 11:52 pm
Cameron admits defences overrun and there’s still more rain on the way.


Prime Minister David Cameron deployed a further 200 soldiers to Northern England. Photo / AP

• 500 Soldiers deployed to Northern England and a further 1000 on standby
• 157 Flood warnings in place including 24 severe warnings
• £15b Total cost to the economy according to PriceWaterhouseCooper
• 4000 Residents evacuated from York city centre
• 10,000 Homes left without power over the weekend

Devastating
in Britain which forced thousands to flee their houses over
Christmas and left 10,000 homes without power, will return as the
Government admitted that every defence will need to be reviewed.
Christmas
was ruined for thousands as waters rose so fast in some areas that
families were not able to grab essentials, such as food and warm
clothes, before fleeing to safety.
Even city centres were not
safe, as rivers burst their banks in York, Manchester and Leeds leaving
buildings under metres of water, and homeowners battling the worse
floods than in 2007.

And forecasters warn that more rain is on the way.
Former
Labour Environment Secretary and Leeds MP Hilary Benn, said his city
had never experienced anything like it while West Yorkshire police
declared a “major incident” saying it was the “worst flooding in 70
years”.
Prime Minister David Cameron deployed a further 200
soldiers to Northern England, bringing the total to 500, and said
another 1000 would remain on standby as “unprecedented” levels of rain
fell on already saturated grounds and more was forecast in the run up to
New Year.

Men use a dinghy to rescue their possessions from mobile homes after the RiverOuse bursts its banks in York.  Photo / AP
Men use a dinghy to rescue their possessions from mobile homes after the RiverOuse bursts its banks in York. Photo / AP
Environment Secretary Liz Truss said the potential for
further flooding in coming days was “very real”. Speaking after an
emergency Cobra meeting, the Prime Minister said the Government would
“do whatever is needed” to help communities recover from the deluge but
accepted that even recently installed defences had been “overrun”.
The
Government announced that every household affected will received 500
for temporary accommodation and immediate costs, and a further 5000 to
help flood proof their homes.
“At this time of year, we all feel
huge sympathy for those who have been flooded and have had to leave
their homes,” said Cameron.

Members of the army and rescue teams help evacuate people in the city. Photo / AP
Members of the army and rescue teams help evacuate people in the city. Photo / AP

“Whenever these things happen, you should look at what
you’ve spent, look at what you’ve built, look at what you’re planning to
spend, look at what you’re planning to build, and ask whether it’s in
the right places, whether it’s enough, whether we’re doing everything we
can to try and help.
“The flood barriers have made a difference
but it’s clear in some cases they’ve been over-topped, they’ve been
overrun, and so of course we should look again at whether there’s more
we should do.”
In Lancashire every river reached record heights,
and North Yorkshire police said they had run out of ‘road closed’ signs
and asked motorists not to attempt to drive through standing water.
The
River Calder burst its banks in the town of Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire.
Amongst the worst hit by the latest deluge was the village of Walsden,
in the Calder Valley. In nearby Sowerby Bridge, residents said it was
the first time that the town centre had flooded since 1968.
Brian
Marshall said flood waters in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, had been
running with such force on Sunday that sandbags had been “ripped up”.

A woman stands in the doorway of a book shop as the clean up effort continues after the weekend's floods. Photo / AP
A woman stands in the doorway of a book shop as the clean up effort continues after the weekend’s floods. Photo / AP
“It was just impossible to do anything,” he added.
The
River Ouse in York was expected to peak at more than 4.5m above normal
summer levels today, and police advised between 300 and 400 people to
evacuate the city.
The Pallister family was advised to leave their home while their children still wearing their pyjamas.
Mother
Lisa Pallister, 36, said: “We didn’t think it would reach us because
we’re raised off the ground and have three storeys but, by this morning,
it was on the steps and it is going to rise by lunchtime. So we had a
boat ride out. We’re lucky though, a lot of other residents were flooded
last night early on.”
It emerged that the Environment Agency had
opened flood barriers in York, causing water to pour into the city. It
was feared that rising water could flood electricity stations and cut
power to vital pumps, making the situation worse.
Lieutenant
Colonel Hamish Cormack, from the Duke of Lancaster Regiment, said levels
in York were still rising. He said “we’ve not probably seen the worst
of it yet”.

Benn said "The need for improved flood defence is increasing really, really fast because the climate is changing." Photo / AP
Benn said “The need for improved flood defence is increasing really, really fast because the climate is changing.” Photo / AP

In Leeds, the River Aire bursts its banks after rising to
3m, beating the previous record of 2.4m set in 2007, and leaving homes
sitting in 1.5m of water.
Benn said investment in flood defences
must be increased. “The need for improved flood defence is increasing
really, really fast because the climate is changing.”
Last year
York City Council approved plans for 11 million of new flood defences
but so far no work has taken place. A 50 million flood defence scheme in
Leeds appeared to have done little to protect the city while recent
schemes in Manchester did not stop the swollen river from bursting its
banks.
Nationwide flood defence spending has fallen by 14 per
cent to 695 million and since 2010, local authorities have taken control
of their own defences, which stalled some schemes.

Sinking farmer fights off rescuers

A car drives through flood waters at Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Photo / AP
A car drives through flood waters at Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Photo / AP
Trapped in surging floodwaters, at imminent risk of drowning, most drivers would be pleased to see emergency services.
But
one Yorkshire farmer refused to abandon his beloved Land Rover and
fought off rescue teams as they attempted to pluck him to safety.
The
elderly motorist had floated into Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire in the
heavy floodwater from the River Calder. Rather than abandon his vehicle,
the driver remained put, ignoring offers of help from passersby as the
waters crept up the side of the vehicle. When emergency services
arrived, only a few centimetres of windscreen remained above the rising
waters.
Rescuers had to use kayaks to reach him and struggled
against the current of the surging floodwater. When they made it to
the Land Rover and broke into his sunroof, they were met with a torrent
of abuse.
The man was taken to safety on a dinghy and sent to a
hospital for a check-up. His Land Rover was left in a muddy carpark in
Mytholmroyd.

Reasons why it happened

• Weeks of heavy rain had already saturated the soil on the hills across northwest and northeast England.

At the weekend, nearly a month’s worth of rain – 120mm – fell in 24
hours. In the northwest, the average rainfall for the entire month of
December is 145mm.
• The sodden ground was unable to absorb any
more rain water, which then poured down the hillside swelling rivers
which eventually breached their banks.

Tags:
shared on wplocker.com