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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 15:43 GMT
Council may sue firm over floods
Flooding in Hull
Thousands of homes in Hull were damaged in June's floods
Council officials in Hull are considering suing Yorkshire Water over the summer floods which saw tracts of the city deluged for days.

More than 10,000 properties were affected when heavy rains overwhelmed the city's drainage system on 25 June.

An independent review said if the water company had heeded warnings about a pumping station "some properties in Hull would not have been flooded".

The city council said they had a duty to recover losses from Yorkshire Water.

I have instructed that we obtain the best legal advice on whether recovering the council's costs is possible
Hull Council leader Carl Minns

In a statement council officials said they "must answer to local people for the money we spend on their behalf.

"This includes the huge costs we have had to deal with, unexpectedly, as a result of the floods and the damage they caused."

Council leader Carl Minns said: "After discussions with the leader of the main opposition group on the council, and in the light of all the information we now have available about the causes of the floods, I have instructed that we obtain the best legal advice on whether recovering the council's costs is possible.

"I will ensure the council acts on every recommendation in the Couthard report.

"In the meantime, we will continue to work to ensure Yorkshire Water, and the Environment Agency, have proper plans in place quickly to guarantee the major investment needed in improving Hull's drainage and pumping system."

In a statement Yorkshire Water said: "The flooding in Hull was caused by unprecedented levels of rainfall and no system could have coped with the amount of rain that fell.

"We are disappointed that the independent report has chosen to focus on the shortcomings of our pumping infrastructure rather than the bigger picture of protecting Hull from future flooding and the effects of climate change. We feel that this is a missed opportunity.

"Yorkshire Water has already made a commitment to invest in Hull.

"However, this commitment alone will not stop Hull from Flooding should the city see a of storm event of this level again."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes from the summer flooding in Humberside



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