27 November 1998

£7m flood warning boost

THE Environment Agency is to spend at least another £7m a year in a bid to speed up and improve the provision of flood warnings across England and Wales.

The announcement comes after widespread criticism of the agencys failure to provide adequate warnings to those at risk during the Easter floods and the recent widespread flooding in Wales and the neighbouring counties in England.

The money will be used to upgrade rainfall, river level and flow monitoring systems and to employ additional staff. The EA believes that should result in better flood forecasting, clearer and earlier warnings and, in some cases, targeting of people and property at risk.

A major public information campaign will also be undertaken to promote the new arrangements.