Government 'working with EA' to prevent repeat of Wainfleet floods

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has today   reassured the residents of Wainfleet that a plan is in place to ensure water levels are monitored to prevent a repeat of the flooding that caused hundreds to be evacuated in June

In a written Ministerial Statement she said: "This summer saw significant rainfall that unfortunately impacted several communities.

The flooding in Wainfleet in June.

The flooding in Wainfleet in June.

"In June, properties and farmland were flooded after the River Steeping broke its banks leading to a quick response from the EA supported by the RAF.

"At the end of July there was significant rainfall which led to flooding in several communities. The flash flooding in North Yorkshire saw homes, businesses and farms affected as well as causing damage to roads and bridges resulting in travel disruption

"On 1 August further heavy rainfall led to the spillway of Toddbrook Reservoir experiencing damage. This did not lead to a breach of the dam itself, but to ensure the safety of Whaley Bridge, a decision was taken by the Local Resilience Forum to evacuate 1500 people until the authorities could be assured there was no ongoing risk. The local community responded with grace and patience despite the disruption this caused to their daily lives, which we are grateful for.

"Recovery continues in both North Yorkshire and Wainfleet, where the local authorities are working with those affected.

"A plan is in place to ensure the water levels are monitored and remain at safe levels until full repairs are completed

"Climate change and population growth mean that the risks from flooding and coastal erosion are increasing. That is why government is looking to update the flood and coastal erosion policy framework to ensure that we can continue to manage these risks effectively into the future.

"By the end of 2019, the government will set out its policies to better prepare the country for flooding and coastal erosion in a government policy statement on flooding and coastal erosion.

"The government will also set out plans for a step change in broader infrastructure investment through the publication of a National Infrastructure Strategy later in the autumn.

"Informed by this government policy, the Environment Agency will update its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management."