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Working with nature keeps town safe from floods

Despite weeks of heavy rain that inundated the surrounding areas, the town of Pickering in North Yorkshire stayed safe from the floods simply by working with rather than against nature.

Pickering flooded in 2007 but couldn't get funding for a flood barrier. Instead a smaller, and cheaper reservoir to store water and let it out slowly was built further up Pickering beck.

In addition, 167 small, leaky dams were built out of logs and branches and trees were planted.

ITV News Science Correspondent Alok Jha reports:

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Farmer says floods killed 70 of his sheep and ruined his livelihood

A sheep farmer has told of how the floods have devastated his livelihood as he lost 70 sheep and his fields were contaminated.

Andy Dyer is just one of many businesses in the North of the country ruined in the recurrent floods.

He said he has "never seen anything like it" and the water levels were a foot higher than in 2005, ruining his fields in Penrith.

He said the parliamentary committee should sit in the flood-hit towns to "understand that all manner of businesses in rural communities are hit, and families as well".

ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:

Severe flood warnings issued for Lancashire

190 flood warnings and alerts are in force across the country Credit: EA

Five severe flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency for Lancashire.

Two warnings have been issued for the River Ribble and three for the River Calder.

Severe warnings mean the flooding is expected to pose a danger to life.

There are 190 flood warnings and alerts, mainly for the North East and North West, but also Wales and the South West.

People are advised to move valuables and take advice from emergency services about evacuation.

Keep up to date with the weather warnings at the Environment Agency's website.

Climate change rainfall warning

car makes its way along a flooded road in Seaham during flooding in 2012. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive

Short, sharp downpours could become an increasingly unwanted characteristic of the British summer if the effects of global warming are to continue, experts have warned.

A landmark study by the Met Office and Newcastle University has identified how climate change could result in heavier summer rainfall, which in turn could increase the risk of flash flooding.

Balkans: 20 die in 'worst floods for 120 years'

The worst flooding since records began has killed at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

The flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago, according to meteorologists, who said it is due to the region getting three months of rain in just three days.

Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

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Insurers: 'Far too early to say' if premiums will rise

It is "far too early to say" if and by how much insurance premiums will go up after thousands homes and businesses were damaged by the south coast floods, according to the Association of British Insurers.

Malcolm Tarling told Daybreak that insurers would "do the maths" after flood victims had been allowed to safely move back into their homes.

Flooded homes 'can take months to become habitable'

The flood waters may have mostly receded, but for many the distress of being flooded remains raw.

Insurers and loss adjusters are playing a crucial role in the recovery process. A badly flooded property can take months to become habitable again, so insurers continue working around the clock to ensure that the drying out process is completed as quickly and as safely as possible.

While of course this was a serious and significant bad weather event the current flood damage costs remain well below the severe floods of 2007 when insurers paid out £3 billion to customers.

– Otto Thoresen, ABI's Director General

Breakdown of flood payouts

The Association of British Insurers estimates it will be paying out £1.1 billion to customers affected by floods and storms in the wettest winter on record.

£446 million of that figure will be paid out for flood damage alone. Here is how it breaks down:

Homes:

  • £276 million in payouts
  • 9,000 flood-hit home owners

Businesses:

  • £149 million in payouts
  • 3,100 claims were received from this sector

Vehicles:

  • £22 million will be paid to flood-hit vehicle owners
  • 5,400 claims for flooded vehicles

Insurers to pay out more than £1bn for bad weather

File photo dated 11/02/14 of a resident pumping out water from his house in Wraysbury, Berkshire. Credit: PA

An estimated £1.1 billion will be paid in insurance claims to people whose homes, businesses and vehicles were damaged in floods and storms this winter, according to figures released today by the British insurance industry.

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