Our thoughts are with those still affected by flooding this morning. The Government’s priority now is to ensure that people are safe and to co-ordinate the response, restoring power and transport networks and ensuring that communities get access to the support they need.
Flood defences protected 8,600 homes across the north of England and, in thousands of other instances, provided vital time for homes and businesses to be evacuated as well as reducing the impact. However, unprecedented rain and river levels mean we have seen water overtopping defences in places.
Overnight, engineers have managed to restore power to thousands of homes, but many are still without electricity and I’d like to pay tribute to engineers who are working round the clock to get things back to normal, along with the emergency services and agencies who have been providing assistance across flooded areas.
The Prime Minister chaired a COBR meeting this morning, and this afternoon I will update the House of Commons with details of support for the affected communities. The Flood Minister Rory Stewart has been in Cumbria since Saturday, meeting those affected and assessing the situation on the ground, and I will be travelling to Cumbria after my statement in the House.
With flood alerts and warnings still in place for many areas of the North of England, I urge everyone to take care and keep an eye on the Environment Agency’s website and Twitter for the latest information.