Cumbrians must get flood protection they deserve, says Elizabeth Truss
- Credit: PA
People living in Cumbria must get the 'proper protection that they deserve' from flooding, the Environment Secretary has said.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss told the House of Commons the 'unprecedented weather event' was 'more extreme by half a metre' in some of the key towns and cities in Cumbria compared with 2005.
She expressed 'huge sympathy' to those affected again by flooding in the region.
Addressing shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy, Ms Truss said: 'You're absolutely right about the extreme weather patterns we're seeing.
'As we say, it's consistent with the trends we're seeing in terms of climate change.
'Climate change is factored into all the modelling work the Environment Agency does but clearly in the light of this extreme weather we are going to have a look at that modelling and make sure it's fit for purpose for future decisions.
'We constantly review the way we look at the way we invest in flood defences.
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'My view is it's really important that we remain fair to people right across the country and the people of Cumbria understand why those decisions are being made and also get the proper protection that they deserve.'
Making a statement in the Commons, Ms Truss said action was taken last Friday in preparation for Storm Desmond.
Temporary defences and pumps were moved to north west England, with 200 military personnel mobilised and a Chinook helicopter made available as part of the emergency response on Saturday, MPs heard.
Ms Truss said around 800,000 properties were protected by flood defences although more than 3,500 properties were flooded across the country by Sunday morning, with the majority in Cumbria.
More than 2,000 of the homes were in Cumbria, 600 each in Kendal and Keswick, 200 in Appleby, and more than 60 properties affected in Hexham in Northumberland.
Ms Truss said 55,000 homes lost power and there have been 'a number of weather-related fatalities'.