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Cornish MP says there is a "firm grip" on flooding issues

Cornish MP says there is a "firm grip" on flooding issues

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:29pm 17th February 2020.

A Cornish MP is insisting that the government is in control of the flooding after Storm Dennis.

Five 'danger to life' warnings are in force up country as the UK is battered by torrential rain and gales.

Some areas were struck by winds over 90mph while more than a month's worth of rain fell in 48 hours, leading to a record number of flood warnings and alerts in England.

But despite the worst of Storm Dennis having passed, experts have warned the UK can still expect more wet and windy conditions into the coming week.

Amid the torrid conditions, the Environment Agency urged people to remain vigilant and said "significant" river and surface water flooding is expected to continue into next week.

Hundreds of homes have been evacuated and several lives have been lost around the country.

New environment secretary George Eustice, who is the MP for Camborne and Redruth, says the government was not caught off guard by the flooding.

"We've done a huge amount - we can't do anything about these extreme weather events but the steps we've taken have meant the impact of those weather events have affected fewer properties."

George Eustice, Environment Secretary

Mr Eustice said the government had used a "significant sum of money" to prepare for the flooding, but blamed the "nature of climate change" for the scale of the damage.

"In the last five years the flood infrastructure that we've put in place has protected over 200,000 properties. Other projects that we're working on now will protect another 100,000.

"You will never be able to protect every single property but the investments that we've made mean we are able to protect a significant number.

"When you have emergencies, like we do in some areas with flooding, making sure that it's all hands on deck and that you've got people dealing with that immediate issue are important.

"But in the longer term approach in how we manage floods, we are going to be doing much more work on managing catchments up stream."

George Eustice, Environment Secretary

It comes after a string of 'immediate action' flood warnings and flood alerts were issued for Cornwall across the weekend.

Three severe weather warnings were also in force across Saturday, Sunday and Monday for strong gales and heavy rain.

Storm Dennis triggered a rock fall at a beach in Newquay, left thousands of homes without power and caused traffic trouble across the Duchy.

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