Climate change floods warning

WIGAN homes could face increased risks of flooding due to the effects of climate change, according to government advisors.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said four times as many households in England could be at risk of flooding in the next 20 years if the government does not prepare sufficiently.

GM Fire and Rescue Service assisted people from their homes in Beresford Street

GM Fire and Rescue Service assisted people from their homes in Beresford Street

Many homes in the borough have already been affected after the wettest June since records began.

Springfield resident John Downham, whose house was damaged by recent flash floods on Beresford Street, said he was satisfied with Wigan Council’s response but that more could be done in terms of prevention.

“The support has been good, to give the council credit. They have kept it under control even with the heavy rain in the last week. We have had someone in to fit flood proof doors and they have provided us with sand and water bags.

“My only complaint is that it got to this stage, maybe more could have been done beforehand. I estimate we’ve had more than £30,000 worth of damage but we’ve been lucky as we were insured. Other people might not have been. We’ve been here six years now and were not made aware we are in an area at risk.”

The CCC report advised that more investment and better planning was needed to prepare for the rising risk.

Chairman, Lord John Krebs said: “Extreme weather is likely to become more common in the future as a result of climate change. Without action by households and businesses to prepare for these inevitable weather extremes the country faces rising costs, unnecessary damage and future disruption.”

Environment Agency spokesman Andy Brown said that systems are already in place to protect homes in the borough.

“We urge Wiganers to remain vigilant throughout periods of bad weather. The flood alleviation scheme, a dam structure north of Coppull Road built in 2009, protects over 600 homes from flooding from the River Douglas. We are working with the council and United Utilities to help reduce the risk of flooding from surface water.”

For flood risk warnings visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk