UK better prepared for flooding, says environment minister

Repairing defences after the devastating Croston floods in 2015
Repairing defences after the devastating Croston floods in 2015
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Flood defences have been bolstered to ensure the UK is "better prepared" this winter.

The Environment Agency now has 25 miles of mobile flood barriers, 250 mobile pumps and 500,000 sandbags at its disposal.

In 2015 a major cleanup operation was required after severe floods and torrential rain battered Lancashire in one of the worst deluges the region has ever seen.
Defences will be further shored up with a £2.6 billion injection of funding by 2021, meaning more than 100,000 homes will be better protected.

A five-point plan to tackle future flood risks has also been set out by environment minister Therese Coffey.

Dr Coffey said that while the UK was "better prepared" this winter, it was "right to look to future challenges".

The action plan, set out by Dr Coffey in a written statement, will see a policy developed to deal with "extreme rainfall events".

There will also be moves to ensure "better collaborative working" and a policy to develop and retain drainage engineering skills.

The Environment Agency is reviewing the mapping and modelling of surface water flooding and the Met Office is carrying out a review on how improvements in surface water forecasting can be made

The plan will be considered by the Inter Ministerial Group on Flooding early next year.