New data has emerged which shows that one in four London properties, with a collective worth of £250 billion, are now considered a serious flood risk by the Environment Agency.
In the 2013 National Flood Risk Assessment, it is London boroughs which are now at the biggest danger of flooding. Southwark is the borough at the greatest risk, with over 100,000 properties at risk from tidal and river flooding, with Hammersmith and Fulham also a high risk, with almost 70,000 properties at risk should the banks burst.
These new figures have caused concern as it was previously thought that the national average was one in six homes which were at risk. In England and Wales there are 2.5 million properties which are at risk of flooding. Outside of the London, the North of England has the biggest risk, with almost 200,000 properties under threat.
With a new study from the University of Oxford suggesting that global warming was likely to reach 4C higher than pre-industrial levels, then the likelihood of flooding looks set to rise.
Within the London boroughs, flood defence spending has dropped , falling 50% to £17 million from 2010 to 2013. The boroughs which could be the worst hit by flooding have had their flood funding fall drastically, with Hammersmith and Fulham suffering a 99% cut in funds.
2012 was the second wettest year on record in the UK with a total of 52.4 inches of rainfall, just 6.6 mm short of the 2000 record. The 2012 figures were part of a growing trend toward extreme instances of rainfall, which were usually found overseas. Data from the Environment Agency showed that over 8,000 properties were flooded in this time period.
As we have all no doubt complained about this year already, the weather has not really improved any and we have bemoaned the lack so far of a decent summer. With some luck, this may improve over the next few weeks. Until it does, we can only hope that there will at least not be the same level of rainfall that there was in 2012.
To highlight the risk level of flooding in the UK, we have included this infographic (from 2012) which underlines the increased risk of flooding.
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