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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Disruption continues after floods
Flooding in Catcliffe, South Yorkshire
Insurers says the cost of the floods will run into hundreds of millions

Roads remain closed and hundreds of families are in temporary shelter after floods swept through England.

Flood water is continuing to rise in some areas and more showers are predicted, but forecasters say there will be no repeat of Monday's deluge.

The floods, which were most severe in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands, have claimed four lives.

Meanwhile, emergency services are searching for a man who went missing from a flooded dyke near Doncaster.

They are searching near the village of Adwick Le Street.

The Association of British Insurers says the overall cost of the floods will run into hundreds of millions.

Floodplains are called floodplains for a reason - they flood
Prof Bob Spicer
Open University

They urged ministers to improve flood defences and warned that about one in four people did not have contents insurance, so would not be covered for flood damage.

In other key developments:

  • The army are reported to be moving in with trucks and boats, to help with the worsening flood situation around Thorpe Marsh power station in the Doncaster area where the River Don has burst.
  • Dozens of people have been moved out of their homes in the village of Tollbar, near Doncaster, and locals say the water has continued to rise
  • Firefighters have rescued 25 people from cottages in the village of Powick, near Worcester, overnight
  • Residents of Bransby, Lincs, have been evacuated to Lincoln College, joining 20 people who spent the night there
  • Engineers are continuing their attempts to secure the Ulley dam, South Yorks, amid fears it could collapse and swamp nearby villages.
  • Ministers have offered emergency aid to the worst affected areas to help with the cost of the clear-up.

    UK TRANSPORT CHAOS
    Large sections of the M1 in South Yorkshire remain closed
    A1 in Newark closed in both directions
    Network Rail says services including the east coast mainline are fully open but subject to some disruption

    David Rooke, head of flood risk at the Environment Agency, said on Monday morning the situation was "still very difficult" in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands.

    "But the situation is improving, river levels are dropping and obviously a massive clean up is under way," he said.

    BBC weather forecaster Penny Tranter said there was more rain to come, but nothing as extreme as Monday.

    Flood deaths

    In South Yorkshire, about 700 people have left the villages of Whiston, Canklow, and Catcliffe and Treeton, because of the risk of the Ulley dam bursting.

    In Sheffield, about 900 people are using emergency shelters and 16,000 people in the city are still without electricity.

    On Monday, a 68-year-old man was killed after being swept away as he tried to cross a road in central Sheffield.

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    In a separate incident in the city a 14-year-old boy, named as Ryan Joe Parry, was killed after falling into the River Sheaf at Millhouses.

    A third person, Mike Barnett, 28, died after becoming trapped in a storm drain in Hull.

    The fourth victim of the flooding, who has not been named, was swept away by rising flood waters in Pershore, Worcestershire.

    A search had been launched for the motorist after he telephoned his wife on his mobile phone to raise the alarm.

    On Monday, Tony Blair expressed his sympathy to the families of the dead and those displaced by what he described as an "extraordinary and very serious event".

    Environment Secretary David Miliband told the House of Commons there were no reports of flood defences failing but said the government would "consider lessons learned".

    'Fallen short'

    Experts are warning it is likely that such flooding will happen again in the future.

    Bob Spicer, professor of earth sciences at the Open University, said human activity was one of the causes of the floods.

    Man in Tenbury Wells

    "One of the reasons why we've got this catastrophic flooding is that we've spent an awful lot of time building on floodplains."

    He said concreting floodplains "overwhelms the surface channels and the sewage systems and we get floods".

    "Floodplains are called floodplains for a reason - they flood. That tends to be where we build, because it's easier."

    The Environment Agency has in place 18 severe flood warnings and 97 standard flood warnings.

    A recent report from the National Audit Office said the Environment Agency had fallen short in the area of flood defences.

    It said that overall there had been little improvement in the past six years and that the agency was missing its targets.

    The Environment Agency has advised people worried about flooding to call its Flood Line on 08459 881 188.


    VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
    Rescue operation under way in Toll Bar in Doncaster



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