If only someone had warned David Cameron's government about the threat of flooding before...

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Sunday 27 December 2015 17:30
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Flooding across the north of England has turned high streets into rivers and farmland into lakes, as heavy rain over the Christmas period has seen hundreds flee their homes.

Following an emergency Cobra meeting, prime minister David Cameron has pledged to re-assess the government's spending on flood defences.

Whenever these things happen, you should look at what you spend, what you've built, look at what you're planning to spend, look at what you're planning to build - and ask whether it's in the right places, whether it's enough, whether we're doing everything we can to try and help.

The flood barriers have made a difference, both the permanent ones and the temporary ones.

But it's clear in some cases they did overtop, they did overrun, and so clearly we should look again at whether there's more we can do.

Following this week's flooding, lots of people have been re-sharing this Guardian article about the government reportedly "ignoring" warnings from climate specialists in October:

In fact, it's not exactly the first time people have made warnings about the risk of floods in the UK:

While the government has now pledged £2.3bn of spending on flood defences over the course of the next five years, it has come under repeated criticism for empty rhetoric, cuts where extra spending is needed and misinformed policy.

As the Yorkshire Evening Post explained in its Monday edition, in which it heavily criticises the government for not providing the North with the same expensive flood defences as London and the south-east:

Technology is so advanced that the kind of devastation [Leeds has] suffered as a city is completely avoidable.

The Government has made much of the notion of a Northern Powerhouse, and Leeds, with its burgeoning financial and retail sectors has been placed squarely at the heart of this drive.

But a Northern Powerhouse is nothing when it's underwater.

More: As floods hit homes across the country, Britain shows heartwarming solidarity

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