With the recent heatwave making headlines across Europe, it’s easy to forget that June saw people being evacuated from their homes due to heavy downpours here in the UK. The town of Wainfleet in Lincolnshire endured the equivalent of two months’ rain in just two days.
Sometimes we ask ourselves if the risk of flooding is genuinely increasing year on year or whether it’s a case of our memories playing tricks on us and it’s always been like this. But the Met Office’s data suggests the former. Since 1910,17 record-breaking rainfall months have been recorded; nine of them since 2000.
Given the accelerating threat of flooding, the Environment Agency (EA) has called for £1 billion per year to be spent on strengthening England’s flood and coast defences.
"We need to develop consistent standards for flood and coastal resilience in England that help communities better understand their risk and give them more control about how to adapt and respond,” said EA chairwoman Emma Howard Boyd in a statement.
In England, the Government currently spends around £600m each year on building and maintaining flood defences.