11m cash for flood work

26 January 2001

11m cash for flood work

By FWi staff

THE government has announced an 11.6m package to cover the Environment Agencys costs for the autumn floods.

The money will meet the exceptional costs of the emergency response by the agency and immediate repairs to damaged flood defences.

Junior farm minister Elliot Morley, who chaired the Floods Task Force in the aftermath of the flooding, announced the cash on a visit to Selby, Yorkshire.

The package includes 2m from the 51m announced in the autumn which MAFF will use mainly to accelerate river flood-defence works.

But this will offer little short-term comfort to farmers who, according to the National Farmers Union, stand to lose as much as 500m in uninsurable losses.

The Ministry of Agriculture is to help ensure flood-hit farmers do not lose subsidy payments, but is not offering exceptional compensation.

About 13% of the national potato crop – some 822,200 tonnes on 19,500ha – was destroyed or remains in the ground at a possible cost of 97 million.

Both the cereal crop and the sugar-beet crop have suffered similar fates.

The grain harvest in the coming year could well be several million tonnes lower than in 2000 because of poor conditions. This could cost up to 300m.

The floods in autumn 2000 were the most serious for years, and came after the wettest autumn since records began.

Some parts of Yorkshire suffered their most serious flooding for 400 years.

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