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Floods

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) number of deaths, (b) number of homes flooded, (c) amount of damage caused by floods and (d) the insured losses arising from floods in each of the last 10 years. (148950)

For (a), the data available on deaths due to drowning do not give a sufficiently detailed breakdown to enable direct attribution to flooding to be made. However, we are aware that in recent years two deaths resulted from the flooding in Carlisle in 2005, for example, whilst a number of deaths have been reported during the recent floods.

For (b), the following estimates include homes flooded in England as a result of river or sea flooding only.

Homes flooded

1997

281

1998

5,796

1999

1,930

2000

9,916

2001

1,641

2002

786

2003

1,516

2004

1,139

2005

4,116

2006

746

Source: Environment Agency flood incident management teams, regional flood risk management teams and flood risk mapping and data.

For 2007, the current total of reports of recent flooding from all sources, including surface water as well as river flooding, is now over 37,000 residential properties and businesses affected.

For (c) and (d), full details for each year are not available. However, for the autumn floods of 2000—the most widespread floods in recent years—the total costs were then estimated at around £1 billion. In addition, the following data for major weather events in the last 10 years are from the Association of British Insurers.

Incident

Cost estimate (£ million)

December 1997 to January 1998

Heavy storms and flooding throughout Great Britain

270

April 1998

Heavy rain causing flooding

137

October 1998

Heavy rain causing flooding

100

October-November 2000

Heavy rain causing flooding

760

January 2005

Floods in Carlisle

243

January 2005

Storms in Scotland

124

For 2007, the ABI has estimated that claims total around £1.5 billion for the recent floods.