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Flood alerts at record level in Great Britain in first four months of 2024
Climate Environment World News

Flood alerts at record level in Great Britain in first four months of 2024

A record number of flood alerts and warnings were issued in Great Britain in the first four months of 2024, averaging 40 a day, according to analysis of Environment Agency figures.

Round Our Way, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people in the UK affected by the climate crisis, obtained data from the agency under the Freedom of Information Act on the number of warnings and alerts issued across the country since records began in 2006.

In the period from January to April this year a record 4,858 warnings and alerts were issued across Great Britain, a jump of almost 500 on the previous record of 4,373 for the first four months of 2020.

The organisation said the figures showed a long-term upward trend in the number of safety warnings for river and sea flooding issued by the Environment Agency over the first four months of each year.

It said the data did not include warnings about surface water flooding, when too much rainwater overwhelms existing drainage systems or cannot soak into the ground.

Last winter was one of the UK’s wettest on record and February was the wettest on record for England and Wales. The weather had widespread impacts on farmers, drainage systems, businesses and transport.

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Recent research from World Weather Attribution (WWA) found that human-caused climate change had made the UK’s autumn and winter storm rainfall about 20% heavier.

The Round Our Way analysis shows a record 3,986 flood alerts and warnings were issued in England in the first part of this year, broken down into 2,561 alerts, 1,423 warnings and two severe warnings.

In Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issued 389 flood alerts and warnings, well above the average for those months since 2006 of 223.

In Wales, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) issued 483 flood alerts and warnings, almost twice the average of 254 since 2006.

Roger Harding, the director of Round Our Way, said: “These figures back up what many of us are thinking. As climate change sets in, more floods are happening. Climate change and the floods that come with it are leaving families more and more exposed. Politicians need to invest in clean energy so we can cut fossil fuels and protect our families from this getting worse.”

Source: theguardian.com