Flood Water Falls, as Budgets Rise
The Met Office has dropped the severe weather warning in the UK, and so it looks as though the torrential rain that has been causing havoc is over. However, the effects of that rain aren't. There are still severe flood warnings from the Environment Agency, many people are displaced from their homes, there have been 6 deaths and a billion pounds worth of damage has been caused.
There are massive efforts to drain the affected regions at the moment. According to Doncaster's mayor, Martin Winter, the pumps currently installed in Toll Bar are the biggest concentration of their type so far deployed in Britain, and are sucking up the equivalent of a large swimming pool every quarter of an hour. This has seen flood levels at last falling.
The floods have worried politicians, and thankfully flood defence budgets are set to rise. The environment secretary, Hilary Benn, told the House of Commons that a budget of £800m for flood defences had been agreed for 2010-11. This is a rise, after previous cuts to the Environment Agency budget. The Environment Agency was quoted last week as saying that £750m will be needed each year for the next three years, rising to nearer £1bn annually if climate change affects flooding as widely predicted.