FLOOD LATEST: Government vows to help families affected by the floods

Flooding in Whalley. Pic: Josh Brandwood.
Flooding in Whalley. Pic: Josh Brandwood.
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The environment secretary has vowed to help Lancashire families affected by the Boxing Day deluge wreaking havoc across the county.

Speaking after a meeting of the government’s COBR committee met to access the impact of the floods affecting Lancashire, Elizabeth Truss the government would do all it can to help affected families and businesses.

She said: “This is a very fast moving situation and we have been deploying critical response teams and personnel overnight to where they are most needed.

“The Environment Agency, emergency services and military personnel have sent significant resources overnight to Lancashire and Yorkshire to help protect people, homes and businesses as well as maintaining the response in Cumbria.

“I chaired a further meeting of the government’s COBR committee this morning to assess the impact of the overnight rainfall and to ensure additional support is deployed to where it is be needed today.

“Our priority throughout this period continues to be protecting lives, protecting homes and protecting businesses.

“I would like to again pay tribute to the tireless work of front line staff over the last month and the Christmas period, and the extraordinary resilience of the people affected, which I have seen first hand.

“My thoughts and sympathy continue to be with people flooded out of their homes this Christmas and I can assure them we are doing everything we can to help communities recover from these storms.

“Since early December we have made available £60 million in funding to help householders and businesses affected.”

Seven severe warnings have been issued for locations on the River Ribble at Ribchester, the River Wyre at St Michael’s North and St Michael’s South, and the River Calder at Whalley, where people are already being evacuated.

Heavy rains are expected to continue throughout the day, before easing off slightly in the afternoon and overnight.

Around 50-80mm is due to fall this morning, with more than 100mm (4in) likely to come down over higher ground across the day.