Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would like to make a statement about the significant flooding caused by the heavy rain and severe gale force winds brought by Storm Ciara.
First and foremost, I want to extend my condolences on behalf of the whole House to the family and friends of the man who lost his life in Hampshire earlier today … our thoughts are with you.
I would also, Mr Speaker, like to express my support and sympathy to all those whose homes or businesses have been flooded over the weekend.
For each individual affected, flooding can have appalling consequences and I want to provide the assurance today that the Environment Agency, that local government, and that the emergency services are working hard to keep people safe in all of the areas affected by this devastating storm.
Storm Ciara brought rainfall ranging between 40 and 80cm in 24 hours across much of northern England.
The highest levels were recorded in Cumbria with 179.8cm of rain over the course of the day.
Particularly severe impacts have been felt in Yorkshire along the River Calder, in Lancashire along the River Ribble, in Greater Manchester along the Irwell, and in Appelby on the Eden.
Regrettably four of these communities – the Calder Valley, Whalley and Ribchester, the Rossendale Valley, and Appleby – were flooded in 2015.
The current estimate is that over 500 properties have been flooded but this number is expected to increase as