Government agency and military join forces to repair battered flood protection schemes

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Flood protection has been restored to over 100,000 homes hit by extreme winter weather.

The Environment Agency (EA) said it had repaired 350 flood defences to ensure protection for 115,000 property owners affected by the wettest winter on record.

Members of the armed forces joined inspectors from the EA to take stock of flood damage across the country over six weeks.

Repairs have been completed in Weymouth, where sea defences were washed away by stormy seas during January and February, and also at Greatham Creek in Teesside, where flood waters ripped a 50m breach in the sea defence embankment.

Beaches along the Lincolnshire coast have also had their dune systems repaired to protect over 20,000 properties.

Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive of the EA, said the protection would provide “peace of mind”.

He said: “Many of the flood risk management assets damaged in the extreme weather since December have already been repaired, restoring protection, and peace of mind, to many communities across the country.

“But there is still much more to do, and thanks to the completed inspections we now have a full picture of the condition of all the flood risk management assets across the country. We have prioritised the most urgent repairs.”

The EA said that over 650 flood management assets have repairs planned or under way, to give protection to a further 180,000 properties across England.

Floods Minister, Dan Rogerson, said the Environment Agency would be provided with an extra £270m to maintain defences.

“Our flood defences took a battering over the winter but we are getting on with the job of repairing them,” said the MP.

“We want to see our flood defences back up to full working conditions which is why we have provided the Environment Agency with an additional £270 million to fix and maintain them over the next two years.”

Mark Francois, Minister for the Armed Forces, said: “Military personnel have played a vital role in flood relief efforts alongside counterparts from local authorities, emergency services and other Government departments.”