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Boxing Day Floods report released

12/09/2016

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has released a report into the Boxing Day floods that details rapid response of GM’s authorities to help those affected.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has released a report into the Boxing Day floods that details rapid response of GM’s authorities to help those affected and shows nearly 2,500 homes were saved from rising water levels.

Last December, Storm Eva brought unprecedented rainfall to Greater Manchester, resulting in record river levels and unprecedented flooding in the region.

On Boxing Day, more than 2,250 homes and 500 businesses in the city-region were flooded, more than 31,200 properties lost their power supplies and damage to infrastructure totalled £11.5m

The report summarises the response of Greater Manchester’s emergency services, local authorities, the Environment Agency and United Utilities to help residents and businesses who suffered loss and damage in the event.

It also shows the various ways in which councils gave financial support to communities – including the speed at which they gave cash to help with the costs to those affected and the scale of funds that authorities have been allocating to residents and businesses since.

Previous work on defences meant floodwater was prevented from reaching more than 2,450 properties, while more than 5,700 received a direct flood warning from the Environment Agency.

The report also details the community response to Storm Eva. Community flood action groups were actively involved in recovery efforts, while individual stories of bravery and selflessness made headlines across Greater Manchester.

The statutory report has been published on behalf of the 8 affected boroughs of Greater Manchester, the Environment Agency and United Utilities, and offers a factual account of last December’s flooding.

While the purpose of this statutory report is not to advise on future flood planning or infrastructure needs, it does recommend risk management authorities continue to work in partnership with each other and with communities to reduce flood risk and improve local flood resilience. The report also details recovery and repair work already undertaken; nearly 4,000 assets were inspected in the first 6 weeks of 2016, and £2 million of asset repair work is scheduled to be complete by autumn 2016.Major flood infrastructure projects already underway in Greater Manchester include the £10m project to construct a second flood basin to protect Salford, flood defences on the River Roch and Calder Brook, as well as investigations in Rochdale and Bury to develop proposals for reducing the risk of flooding.

Tony Lloyd, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This report demonstrates the importance of working together across GM to solve our common problems. Last December, Greater Manchester agencies and communities came together magnificently to assist residents and defend property across the region from unprecedented flooding. Now, we’re working together again to understand the floods and ensure that we are better equipped to deal with future incidents.”

Councillor Rishi Shori, GMCA lead for Civil Contingencies, said: “The Boxing Day floods caused widespread damage across the region and it is important that we work together and do all we can to prevent this happening again in future. I would encourage everyone who lives in areas at risk of flooding to sign up to the Environment Agency’s free Floodline early warning service, which will inform you if a flood is likely.”

The Boxing Day Floods report can be read in full here: https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/downloads/file/199/boxing_day_flood_report_2015