Environment Secretary Liz Truss stated to the House of Commons yesterday that in the light of this extreme weather, DEFRA is going to look at flood modelling and see if it is fit for purpose. This followed reports that David Cameron asked COBRA this morning whether there needs to be “adjustments” in relation to flood planning following the unprecedented rainfall and river levels experienced in Cumbria over the weekend.
13.44 inches (34.1cm) of rain fell in 24 hours at Honister Pass in the Lake District. The total sets a new record for 24-hour rainfall at the location, says the Met Office. 15.94 inches (40.5cm) of rain fell at Thirlmere — also in the Lake District — in just 48 hours, which also set a new record for a 48-hour period.
Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “Liz Truss’s concession that UK flood projection data needs to be revisited is a clear sign that officials are seriously concerned that climate change is increasing the risk of flooding far higher than expected.
“Weak pledges of climate action from this government and others in Paris means the world is on course to exceed two degrees of global warming, leading to catastrophic climate change. Yet the government’s flood defence plans are predicated on a two degree rise.
“The choice is simple. Either David Cameron must ensure tougher action on emissions at home and globally, or commit hundreds of millions of pounds more to flood defences.”
As of 1530 Tuesday, 16 Severe Flood Warnings (danger to life), 72 Flood Warnings and 34 Flood Alerts remain in force. For current flood warnings please click here.