lunes, 17 de febrero de 2014

UK floods: Army to carry out 'rapid inspection' of defences

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Parts of Surrey, including Shepperton, are still flooded

"What we have done over the last 10 days is push them a bit more aggressively at those civil authorities," he said. He said sending military liaison officers to local "gold commands" - meetings of public bodies such as councils and the fire service, led by the police - had been a "major step forward". "I think probably we will want to make sure in future that we do that at a very early stage in any emerging problem," he added. The Ministry of Defence said rules had changed since the start of the flooding so councils could now recoup all costs if they call in the military. More than 3,000 military personnel have joined flood relief efforts, and Mr Hammond said another 5,000 were on "varying levels of notice" to help flood-stricken communities. The Welsh government has already carried out a review of its coastal flood defences, which found they had "performed well" in December and January. It said it was spending £4.6m to repair damage done by the storms and support businesses affected.

Defences have prevented homes flooding in many places, including Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire

He told the BBC he had previously not been aware the council could request army support and felt the "civilian authorities had been reluctant to call in the Army".

  Better weather 
Speaking after a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee, the prime minister said he hoped flood prevention work done in recent days would "minimise the number of homes and businesses affected by the latest high water levels". Mr Cameron said rain was expected "at times" in the coming days - but "not to the levels we have seen". Monday will be "cloudy and damp" for most of the UK, with western coasts and hills getting the most rain, said BBC Weather's Chris Fawkes. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain in south-west England on Monday. Our forecaster said the coming week's weather would be "less stormy" than recently but there would still be some rain - "particularly during the second half of the week".

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