Storm Babet: Third person confirmed dead as flooding hits UK
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has blamed rain coming from the east rather than the west for being less prepared for flooding caused by Storm Babet.
She said there would be a “rapid review” to assess the impact of the extreme weather.
Giving evidence to the Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, the Cabinet minister said: “One of the things that happened particularly with Storm Babet is that we are very good with the Met Office and the Environment Agency’s (EA) flood forecasting (centre) at predicting weather normally because most of our rain tends to come in from the west.
“We’ve got that pretty much down to a fine art.
“This was rain coming from the other way and we don’t have quite as much experience on that, therefore our accuracy of predicting where such heavy rain would fall was not to the same degree as if it had been.”
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Ms Coffey told how the EA had to move infrastructure towards Yorkshire and the North East.
She added: “But I’m conscious that there were still some places that felt they could have done with some more pumps.”
Ms Coffey promised to conduct a “rapid review” alongside the EA to understand “what could have done better”.
Reports of floods to the EA reached the highest level since 2015/16 at the peak of the storm, environment minister Rebecca Pow told the House of Commons on Monday.
Hundreds of people have been left homeless in the wake of Storm Babet, with more than 1,250 properties in England flooded.
Residents in a Nottinghamshire town hit hard by floods caused by Storm Babet have said they are angered by the lack of action taken to protect them and their homes.
They have also criticised a visit by Ms Coffey, who visited the road on Monday, with one resident describing it as an attempt to “polish her halo”.
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