BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 06:02 GMT
Britons 'let down' by flood defences
Knaresborough, near York
Floods cost companies an estimated 800m last year
Three out of every four Britons feel let down by the government's failure to provide adequate flood defences, according to an insurance company.

Norwich Union has launched a national campaign, Home and Dry, to help people in at-risk areas form flood action groups.

And a company spokesman told the BBC's Farming Today programme that more than half of 1,000 homeowners surveyed so far are ready to lobby the government.

A total of 81 flood warnings are currently in place - 55 in the north east and the rest in the midlands, south west and Wales.

Norwich Union's head of household products Nick Pierson said: "There are almost 2 million residential and commercial properties at risk of flooding in the UK."

A lot of areas are now saturated so further rain is just going to compound the problem

Ian Jones
Environment Agency

But ministers warn that despite more money being spent on protection, the risk of flooding cannot be eliminated.

Last year, floods cost companies an estimated 800m.

More than 10,000 homes across the UK have been hit by floods in the past 18 months.

And the Environment Agency (EA) predicts 10 times as many could be affected in the future.

Now Norwich Union, which is part of insurance giant CGNU, is distributing information packs on how to lobby MPs and what to do if your property is flooded.

National Flood Forum chairman Peter Barnett said the campaign would "help at-risk communities understand the need for active local participation".

The EA has issued two severe flood warnings on stretches of the River Severn and its tributaries in Shropshire.

Extensive damage

The warnings follow extensive damage caused by storms and persistent rain over the past two weeks, with more heavy rain is expected on Tuesday.

EA spokesman Ian Jones said: "A lot of areas are now saturated so further rain is just going to compound the problem."

Gale-hit Britain
Send us your experiences of the storms
See also:

11 Feb 02 | UK
Britain back on flood alert
03 Feb 02 | Wales
Mopping up begins after floods
03 Feb 02 | Scotland
Crew rescued from stricken boat
02 Feb 02 | Wales
Warning of more floods to come
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories