Flood warnings remain in place as more rain forecast
Thirty-five flood warnings are still in place across England as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people in affected areas to heed the warnings of emergency services.
The warnings sit alongside a further 80 flood alerts – warning residents to be on alert for possible flooding – after heavy rains over the past week.
The warnings and alerts are in place in locations from Somerset and East Sussex in the South, to as far north as the Lower River Nidd near Harrogate in Yorkshire, and the Holderness Drain in east Yorkshire.
Seven flood alerts are also in place in Wales.
More widespread rain is forecast for Wednesday, with the Met Office having issued a weather warning for heavy rain, bringing possible transport disruptions from late afternoon onwards, across south Wales and parts of England’s south-west.
And Mr Johnson has passed on warnings there could be more flooding across the country this winter as rain continues.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced relief funding would be made available for those affected by the floods.
It came amid criticism the Government had not done enough to help, as the flooding threatened to become an election issue.
He said funding for locals councils to help affected households would be made available to the tune of £500 per eligible household.
Up to £2,500 would be available for small to medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts and which are not covered by insurance.
Mr Johnson also said 100 Armed Forces personnel would be deployed to help the recovery effort in badly-hit areas of South Yorkshire.
The PM chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra on Tuesday afternoon, as pressure mounted on ministers to take action.
Speaking afterwards, he said the country had to “prepare for more floods” this winter because the ground is so waterlogged.
He said: “The worry for me is that there are some people who are continuing not to listen to the advice of the emergency services.
“I would just say to people – the emergency services do have sound advice. When they advise you to evacuate, you should do so.”
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said the Government’s action was “too little, too late”.
“You can’t trust Boris Johnson to look out for the North or the Midlands or protect our communities from flooding,” he said.
“But Labour will provide an extra £5.6 billion in flood defence funding, to level up flood defences over 10 years.
“Every home ruined and every business destroyed demands we act now.”
It comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the Government’s response as “woeful”, while Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said it was not taking it seriously enough.