Flooding: Warning that 325,000 homes and businesses in Yorkshire at risk as climate crisis worsens
The impact of the worsening climate crisis is "clear" with wetter winters and hotter, drier summers, the EA has outlined, and this year has already seen record-breaking weather.
While Yorkshire has the highest level of capital investment in flood defences of any region in England, the body has stressed, some 325,000 homes and businesses are still at risk.
As today marks the start of Flood Action Week experts are urging homeowners in the region to protect themselves by getting ready for worse weather extremes.
Alan Lovell, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “With a changing climate, the frequency and severity of flooding will only get worse and so far this year has seen two devastating named storms.
“Our work during Storm Babet protected nearly 100,000 properties and we’re investing millions into keeping communities safe, but we know that some flooding can’t always be prevented. That’s why it’s essential you know what to do in a flood. Knowing just one action can reduce the effects on your home and family and even save lives. Anyone can go online to check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings and, crucially, know what they need to do if flooding hits.”
According to the Met Office, Storm Babet saw the third-wettest independent three-day period in a series for England and Wales since 1891.
Measures put in place by the EA helped to protect more than 38,000 properties in the storm, the body estimates, with 300,000 flood alerts sent out over email, text, or phone.
There are now online tools to show which houses would likely be affected in future, and people are urged to check their address as well as sign up to flood alerts.
Around 3.2m properties are at risk of surface water flooding in the UK, usually after heavy rainfall in urban areas, the EA outlined. Flood costs to a home average £30,000.
Flood Re, a partnership for insurance, also urges people to take measures to adapt their home such as self-closing airbricks, non-return valves, or flood resilient doors.
Floods Minister Rebecca Pow said: “I know how devastating flooding can be to homes and businesses – and these extreme weather events are only becoming more common.
"The government is working hard to help the nation to become more resilient, with record investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management in England. But there are some simple steps we can all take to be better prepared."