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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 March, 2004, 08:43 GMT
Region 'mapped' for flooding risk
A view of the flood map
The digital map can show how often a flood is likely to occur
People living in flood risk areas in the South East unable to get insurance because of their postcode, may now qualify thanks to new technology.

Norwich Union has unveiled a digital flood map of the UK which can pinpoint areas most at risk of flooding.

The firm says up to 600,000 properties across the UK may now be able to get insurance for the first time.

In Kent, 46,000 homes by the River Medway have been flooded with more than 70,000 hit across Sussex.

Because of the level of detail provided by the map, people who previously thought their property was uninsurable could now obtain cover
Laurence Loughnane, Norwich Union

Initially the map will show areas in Kent, Sussex, Norfolk, Shropshire and the Isle of Wight with the company hoping to extend it across the rest of the UK.

The map was created using specialist mapping company, Intermap, which used an airborne radar system to work out the height of the land above sea level.

This was then used to produce the final map which shows where floods are likely to occur and how far they will spread.

Flooded road
Homes in Lewes in East Sussex were badly flooded in 2000

As well as showing whether a property is at risk, the map shows how often a flood is likely to occur and to what depth.

Laurence Loughnane, head of underwriting at Norwich Union, said: "Because of the level of detail provided by the map, people who previously thought their property was uninsurable could now obtain cover."

In East Sussex nearly 27,000 properties flooded near the River Adur, Ouse and Cuckmere.

Some 46,000 homes near the River Arun and Lavant in West Sussex have also been hit by floods.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Scott
"The new system is much more detailed"



SEE ALSO:
Flooding fears in South East
28 Dec 03  |  England
Villagers call for flood protection
19 Feb 04  |  Berkshire
Flood victims' homeless misery
18 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Video game to help flood planners
19 Feb 04  |  Technology


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