As the winter months roll in, the U.K. has experienced a disproportionate amount of rain, causing flooding that is taking a toll on both commercial and residential parts of the region. On Boxing Day, northern England was hit by Storm Eva, a flood that affected thousands of homes in the area.
And flooding in Britain is not exactly an isolated incident as of late. In fact, just last year, ministers were presented with a document that stated extreme weather events would become more frequent. The U.K.’s Association of Drain Authorities (ADA) reports that the U.K. has experienced the five wettest years since 2000.
Yet despite these alarming numbers and the evident increasing need for flooding defenses, U.K. ministers were recently warned that “spending cuts” were lurking on the horizon.
Both U.K. ministers and the ADA do not agree with these impending cuts. In their recent report, the ADA warns that “failure of assets and networks is more likely as extreme weather events become more frequent and unpredictable” and advocate for a long-term, comprehensive approach to the problem.
The report also says that flood and damage costs total £1.1 billion, and homes and residential areas at risk of flood damage could increase in numbers by hundreds of thousands.
Typically, manhole covers in pedestrian areas need an A class rating, meaning they will support a slow moving wheel load of 2.5 tonnes. Yet as the flooding and inclement weather continues, officials are concerned that lifted manhole covers can pose unseen dangers for individuals attempting to drive in flooded areas.
But in the wake of looming budget cuts, Prime Minister David Cameron has not backed down, announcing that £40 million will be allocated for increasing flooding defenses that were damaged in the wake of Storm Eva.
“I have seen at first hand the devastation caused by flooding. And that’s why this work to repair and improve flood defences is so vital,” said Cameron in a statement.