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Flood defence schemes pass target

8 Sep 11 The Environment Agency says that it has exceeded government targets for protecting houses in England from flood risk.

Some 182,000 households in England are now better defended against flood risk than in 2008 – exceeding the three-year government set target by 37,000 homes.

More than 300 flood defence schemes across the country were completed or upgraded in the past three years by the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards. Some of the biggest projects included a new £38m scheme to protect 3,500 households in Carlisle, a £10m refurbishment of the Hull Tidal Barrier and a £1.1m sea defence between Seasalter and Graveney in Kent.

However, one in six homes still remains at risk. These householders are urged to sign up online for free flood warnings form the agency.

Environment Agency chief executive Dr Paul Leinster said: “Many communities are at lower risk of flooding from rivers and the sea as a result of major improvements to defences. We’ve completed more than 300 new flood schemes since 2008, increasing protection to more than 182,000 households.

“We continue to reduce flood risk through better flood warnings and improved plans to respond when flooding does occur.

“However, the reality is that flooding can’t be totally prevented. More people are becoming aware of the risks a flood might pose. Everyone should check the Environment Agency’s website to see if their house is in a flood risk area and to find out what simple steps they can take to prepare for flooding such as signing up for free river and sea flood warnings.”

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