Nearly 10,000 homes at risk of flooding in Worcestershire

First published in News

NEARLY 10,000 homes across Worcestershire are at risk from flooding, it has emerged.

A new flood risk map reveals how large parts of the county - especially homes in south Worcestershire - are still highly vulnerable to dangerously high river levels.

The data, produced by the Environment Agency, has led to fresh calls for even more of a focus to be placed on flood protection measures.

In Worcester 2,723 homes are deemed 'at risk' - which means they have a 1-in-100 to 1-in-1,000 chance of being flooded in any given year.

The map, which has been refined and broken down into parliamentary constituencies by Friends of the Earth, reveals that 1,689 properties in Malvern share the same risk and 1,529 in Mid-Worcestershire.

In northern parts of the county the figures are much lower, with just 513 homes in Redditch at risk and 918 in Bromsgrove, but it stands at 1,891 in the Wyre Forest.

Campaigners say the figures should serve as a wake-up call, with fears that more frequent flooding could be on the horizon due to climate change.

Sir Peter Luff MP, who represents Mid-Worcestershire, said: "In Wychavon we had our wake-up call in the storms of 1998.

"Since then we have done a lot to protect homes from the consequences of climate change, with considerable success.
 

"As a result, many homes stayed dry in the last two months that would have been flooded in precious years. "However a lot more can also be done to protect to protect individual properties from flooding."

Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "When anyone gets flooded it's horrendous, and clearly in my constituency it's a major issue.

"Resilience has clearly got to be a priority and it's good news these latest floods didn't have the same impact as in 2007."

Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, said: "I am concerned about the figures because it shows that clearly more needs to be done.

"Five thousand litres of water can get into a house through your air bricks alone.

"If you're at risk of flooding I would urge everyone to use the financial help announced by the Government to make changes."

This winter's flooding, the worse in Worcester in 14 years, saw the main city bridge close completely.

After the River Severn burst its banks water is believed to have entered around 50 homes in Worcester, and the same figure in Malvern.

The Government has since announced a £130 million package of help, including council tax and business rate relief, and home owner grants worth up to £5,000.

Households in Malvern affected by the floods can get £250 grants from the district council, while Worcester City Council is launching a £50,000 hardship fund.

Chris Crean, from the regional branch of Friends of the Earth, said: "Without proper investment in flood defences, hundreds of thousands more homes could be put at risk of flooding."

To see the flood risk map visit foe.co.uk/get_involved/page_41807.html

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