Wednesday, January 8, 2014

UK storms: no flood respite with more rain on way

Steven Morris in the Guardian (UK): Communities across storm-battered England and Wales are braced for yet more flooding misery as another band of heavy rain heads from the Atlantic towards the UK. The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for the south-west of England and parts of the Midlands and Wales, advising that up to 40mm of rain could fall on Wednesday and into Thursday.

Around 550 homes and businesses have been flooded since the turn of the year, and on Wednesday morning the Environment Agency still had more than 300 flood warnings and flood alerts in place. In one of the worst-hit places, Somerset, the county council announced an extra £250,000 of funding to help those affected by the floods. This will include a £50,000 hardship fund to go to those struggling to cope.

The cabinet member David Hall said: "We really understand how traumatic it is when your home, business or community suffers flooding and we want to act quickly to help. The £50,000 is a one-off hardship grant and is vital money for people to help in a crisis. We did this last year and it was very well received by those in need. We believe it is right in the current situation to help once again."

The Conservative-controlled council will press central government and the Environment Agency to plough more money into flood prevention. Somerset Community Foundation, a charity set up to help the most disadvantaged people in the county, is extending the scope of its Surviving Winter appeal – aimed principally at older people – to help those affected by the floods....

In Somerset, Swinford Lock flooded in 2004, shot by Stephen Bashford, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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