Clear-up begins after flooding hits northern England
Published: 23rd Jun 2012 15:45:38
Clean-up operations are under way after heavy rain caused flooding in towns and villages across northern England, forcing many people out of their homes.
Up to 500 properties were flooded in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, after a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.
Some homes in the Lancashire areas of Croston and Darwen were evacuated after nearby rivers burst their banks.
About 40 flood warnings are in place in England, and Scotland has three, while forecasters warn of more rain.
The Environment Agency (EA) has warned people to stay away from fast-flowing, swollen rivers, and not to drive through flood water.
"We are keeping a close eye on the weather that is coming through tonight," said EA flood risk manager Pete Fox.
"We're worried about the areas that are already flooded, and Cumbria as well. Our focus now is helping the emergency services start the clear-up operations."
The River Yarrow burst its banks in Croston, flooding more than 70 homes and leaving the village looking like "an island".
Jon Lilley, 32, landlord of the Wheatsheaf, said: "The water just kept coming closer and closer.
Source: Met Office
"We tried to wedge the doors as best we could but we lost the battle at about 2am and it came through the sandbags."
He said he and his staff were trying to pump the water out of the cellar and clean up the rest of the pub.
"My beer is floating. My plants have floated off down the road," he said.
Some residents criticised the authorities' planning and response to the deluge.
Richard Jones, 46, of Town Road, said: "We were expecting flooding throughout the day because of the torrential rain. It seems to me though that the Environment Agency weren't expecting it and certainly the local council weren't expecting it."
An EA spokeswoman said the council had been handing out sandbags to residents.
James Gartside, 42, also of Town Road, praised the spirit of the villagers who mucked in to help each other out, adding: "It was typical British pluck."
Some areas saw a month's worth of rain in 24 hours
The EA said it worked alongside the emergency services through the night to clear debris, monitor river levels and operate flood defences at numerous locations.
Flood warnings were issued to more than 7,000 properties, and more than 11,000 homes and businesses were protected by the defences, the agency said.
The EA has issued 35 flood warnings cross northern England and 49 less severe flood alerts covering the North East, North West, the South West and Wales. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has three flood warnings in place.
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The Met Office has severe weather warnings in place for north-west England, the West Midlands, Strathclyde, south-west Scotland, Lothian Borders, Central, Tayside and Fife, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and Northern Ireland.
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Forecasters said rain had eased away in the north west England, but more is expected across parts of northern England and Scotland later.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman earlier described the flooding as "dreadful".
"The most important thing here is for the government to invest in flood defences. We have over £2bn to be spent on flood defences in the lifetime of this Parliament and it will better protect 150,000 properties," she told the BBC.
But Labour said the government was cutting more than £400m from flood defence spending over the next four years, and that people were finding it increasingly difficult to get insurance against flood damage.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Clear-up begins after flooding hits northern England [Online] (Updated 23rd Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1436481/Clear-up-begins-after-flooding-hits-northern-England [Accessed 21st Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com