Statement following the COBR meeting (15 February) on the floods and severe weather affecting parts of the UK.

The Prime Minister said:

I have chaired a further COBR meeting this evening. I heard an update on the weather forecast and the likely impact over the days ahead. Thankfully, it does appear that we will see less rain and wind over the next few days. However, after so much rain over recent weeks, groundwater levels remain very high and in many places will continue to rise.

The extent of the extreme weather this winter is clear. The Thames barrier has been in operation for over 30 years and yet one quarter of all its total closures have happened in the last 3 months. Network Rail has also made clear the size of the task it faces in keeping the rail network operating after so much rain and wind.

I was reassured that all the agencies involved – thousands of people locally and nationally – have made huge efforts over last few days to protect more homes and businesses, with over 3,000 of our troops deployed on task tonight and many hundreds more on standby.