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Flood Control

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what frequency was assigned to the recent floods in the Thames and Severn catchments on the basis of the existing modelling; what changes have been made to the flood frequency modelling since those events; and if he will make a statement. (157234)

The Environment Agency’s Midlands and Thames Regions are working to assess the frequency of the flooding at key locations. It is expected that final results will be available in the Midlands Region by mid-December.

The Environment Agency’s initial findings are that the July 2007 flooding at Gloucester had an annual probability of 0.5 per cent. in any one year (1 in 200 year return period).

The return period (or frequency of flooding) has yet to be calculated for the recent floods on the Thames. However, tributaries of the River Thames such as the River Evenlode, the River Windrush, the River Ock and the River Loddon, experienced the highest recorded river levels. It is too early to determine the impact of these floods on future probability analysis, but they will be fully accounted for in any new river modelling work.