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US News 'We cannot protect everyone': New environment secretary George Eustice warns over climate change as Storm Dennis brings worst flooding for a generation

07:25  17 february  2020
07:25  17 february  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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(Video by Sky News)

New Environment Secretary George Eustice risked sparking anger in flood-hit areas yesterday after warning he will 'never be able to protect every single household' from extreme weather.

Less than a week into his ministerial post, Mr Eustice warned the nature of climate change means extreme weather events such as this weekend's deluge are becoming more common, advising: 'We have to live with that fact.'

George Eustice wearing a suit and tie: New Environment Secretary George Eustice (pictured) risked sparking anger in flood-hit areas yesterday after warning he will 'never be able to protect every single household' from extreme weather © Provided by Daily Mail New Environment Secretary George Eustice (pictured) risked sparking anger in flood-hit areas yesterday after warning he will 'never be able to protect every single household' from extreme weather But he insisted the Government is investing billions in flood infrastructure and had done 'everything that [it] can do with a significant sum of money'.

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Speaking to Sky News during a visit to York – one of the worst hit areas – Mr Eustice said 600 flood schemes, protecting more than 200,000 homes, had been introduced over the past five years and roughly £2.5billion had been spent on flood defences.

a small town street: Teme Street in Tenbury Wells is seen under floodwater from the overflowing River Teme in western England © Provided by Daily Mail Teme Street in Tenbury Wells is seen under floodwater from the overflowing River Teme in western England He denied the Government had been caught off guard by this weekend's floods, saying: 'It's not the case that we're not doing anything; we've done a huge amount.

'We can't do anything about these extreme weather events but the steps that we've taken have meant the impact of those weather events have affected fewer properties.

a group of people riding on the back of a boat in the water: Rescue workers save a woman and a baby as they evacuate residents from Nantgarw, Wales after flooding caused by Storm Dennis © Provided by Daily Mail Rescue workers save a woman and a baby as they evacuate residents from Nantgarw, Wales after flooding caused by Storm Dennis 'The fact is, these extreme weather events are becoming more common – we have to live with that fact. But we're spending billions of pounds on flood infrastructure.'

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Gallery: Storm Dennis (Photo Services)

He added: 'There is always more that can be done. We'll never be able to protect every single household just because of the nature of climate change and the fact that these weather events are becoming more extreme, but we've done everything that we can do with a significant sum of money, and there's more to come.'

Pray the defences HOLD! Anxious Britons bunker behind flood barriers while bracing for a MONTH'S rain today... after blockades arrived too late for the thousands left homeless from Storm Dennis deluge

  Pray the defences HOLD! Anxious Britons bunker behind flood barriers while bracing for a MONTH'S rain today... after blockades arrived too late for the thousands left homeless from Storm Dennis deluge Nearly 1,500 properties have been flooded and thousands more evacuated, with more rain set to build up in the west from midway through this morning and up to 4in (100mm) of rain in Wales.It came as a missing 87-year-old woman thought to have fallen into a flooded river was feared to become the sixth death from Storm Dennis in five days, as flood-hit communities endured further downpours.

a group of people wearing costumes: One-year-old Blake is handed to his mum, Terri O'Donnel, by a rescue worker as emergency services continue to take families to safety, after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales © Provided by Daily Mail One-year-old Blake is handed to his mum, Terri O'Donnel, by a rescue worker as emergency services continue to take families to safety, after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales The comments risk angering flood victims who have blamed a lack of protection from damage to homes and business. Speaking about planning ahead of Storm Dennis, Mr Eustice said: 'I had a conference call with the local resilience forums.

a group of people wearing military uniforms: An elderly woman is rescued from a property on February 16, 2020 in Nantgarw, Wales as flooding ravages the area © Provided by Daily Mail An elderly woman is rescued from a property on February 16, 2020 in Nantgarw, Wales as flooding ravages the area

'I've been in regular contact with our teams on the ground, we've had teams for instance in Bewdley [Worcestershire], putting in temporary defences.'

His comments come as the UK is suffering a wetter winter than usual, after one of the wettest autumns on record.

a car parked on the side of a building: Flood water surrounded two abandoned cars that had been left in a flooded street in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire © Provided by Daily Mail Flood water surrounded two abandoned cars that had been left in a flooded street in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire The Met Office said rainfall records up to and including Saturday afternoon show around 13.8 inches of rain has fallen since the start of December – 6 per cent above the normal level.

But despite the floods this weekend, the winter tally is unlikely to beat 2014's record, when around 21 inches of rain fell over the three-month period.

My Family Nearly Lost Everything In The Floods. And We’re Feeling Forgotten

  My Family Nearly Lost Everything In The Floods. And We’re Feeling Forgotten My Family Nearly Lost Everything In The Floods. And We’re Feeling ForgottenWatch: Thursday mid-morning forecast (Met Office)

a group of people on a dock next to a building: Houses on a street in Pontypridd, Wales, were left surrounded by flood water after the River Taff burst its banks earlier today © Provided by Daily Mail Houses on a street in Pontypridd, Wales, were left surrounded by flood water after the River Taff burst its banks earlier today

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: 'We are about 30th in the table in terms of wet winters as it stands. We've had a couple of notable rain events but in other years there has been much more rain which has fallen gradually, so it isn't noticed as much because it doesn't cause the same problems that we see with the downpours this weekend.'

a group of items on a table: Items inside a flooded charity shop were left floating in muddy water after the River Teme burst its banks in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire © Provided by Daily Mail Items inside a flooded charity shop were left floating in muddy water after the River Teme burst its banks in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire In December, East Anglia – which gets an average of two inches of rain in the month – and South East England – which gets 3.2 inches – both saw 150 per cent of their average rainfall for the period. 

Yesterday Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government was 'stepping up its response' to extreme weather situations. He said it will allocate £4billion for flood defences over the next six years.


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This is interesting!