UK weather: Army to be deployed as Storm Eva rolls in, while government issues more advice for flood victims

 
Catherine Neilan
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BRITAIN-WEATHER-FLOOD
Parts of the north are braced for more rain, wind and potential flooding (Source: Getty)

Hundreds of military personnel and Environment Agency staff are being deployed to parts of the UK as further flood warnings have been issued ahead of Storm Eva's arrival today.

Armed forces are being brought in on standby to parts of the Scotland and the North of England, which have already been hard hit by Storm Desmond. The army is expected to be putting out sandbags in parts of the country expected to be most affected, including Cumbria, which has seen the worst of the floods so far.

Up to 150mm of rain is expected to fall in high ground in Cumbria, with 60-80mm at lower levels. WInd gusts of up to 70mph are expected.

Ireland has already felt some of Eva's force, with thousands of homes going without power in parts of County Cork and County Wicklow.

The government has also reiterated its advice for communities suffering from extreme weather - particularly flooding - this month, as Storm Eva begins to hit the British Isles.

More rain and heavy winds has been forecast for Christmas and the New Year. Although the levels predicted would not normally create problems, the saturated ground and high river levels in some northern parts of the country mean further flooding to roads and properties is likely.

There could also be flooding in parts of Herefordshire and Shropshire around the River Wye and River Severn, the government has warned.

The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely and will issue further flood alerts and warnings if required.

Chancellor George Osborne has already committed to £51m-worth of support for homes and businesses affected by the floods.

Some of this is aimed at helping people directly affected by flooding, paying for temporary accommodation, for example, and is equivalent to £500 per household. A further £5,000 grant is available to people to install new flood barriers, replace doors and windows with water resistant alternatives, or move electricity sockets to a safer level.

Businesses can also receive funding of up to £2,500, to help them get back on their feet after the flooding. Specific funding of up to £20,000 will be provided for farmers to help restore damaged land.

On top of this, council tax and business rates have been dropped for homes and businesses that have been affected by flooding, for as long as people are forced out of their properties.

The governement is also opening its Bellwin scheme for councils, meaning they can apply to have all their costs above threshold reimbursed by the government.

"We will help Cumbria and Lancashire assess the damage to the local highway network following the events over the weekend, to allow us to understand what additional local transport infrastructure funding could be provided to help repair roads and bridges damaged," the government siad.

Over the next six years, £2.3bn will be invested in flood defences and flood maintenance spending will be protected in real terms over this Parliament.

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