UK Environment Agency Warns Intense Flooding Becoming More Common

The Environment Agency also has launched its Flood Action Campaign, which targets younger people through social media and online advertising to encourage them to check their flood risk, sign up for free warnings, and be prepared to take action when flooding hits.

Intense bouts of flooding are becoming more frequent, the UK Environment Agency warned Feb. 16, citing a pattern of severe flooding in the past 10 years linked to an increase in extreme weather events as the country's climate changes. Met Office records show that since 1910, there have been 17 record-breaking rainfall months or seasons – and nine of them occurred since 2000.

As intense storms are becoming more frequent, sea levels are also rising because of climate change, its warning said.

The Environment Agency also has launched its Flood Action Campaign, which targets younger people through social media and online advertising to encourage them to check their flood risk at GOV.UK, sign up for free warnings, and be prepared to take action when flooding hits. Research shows that 18- to 34-year-olds are least likely to perceive flood risk to their area, know how to protect their homes, or where to go for information.

"Climate change is likely to mean more frequent and intense flooding. Floods destroy lives, livelihoods, and property," said Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency. "Our flood defenses reduce the risk of flooding, and our flood warnings help keep communities safe when it threatens. But we can never entirely eliminate the risk of flooding. Checking your flood risk is the first step to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your home."

During the summer of 2012, a prolonged drought the country had experienced came to an abrupt end when intense rainfall increased the risk of flooding from rivers and surface water for long periods. Almost 8,000 homes and businesses were flooded across the country, particularly in the southwest. And the winter of 2013 to 2014 started with a coastal surge and record sea levels on the north and east coasts, followed by 12 storms in succession. This became the wettest winter for 250 years and caused 11,000 homes to be flooded.

The winter of 2015 to 2016 flooded 17,000 properties across northern England, with named storms Desmond, Eva, and Frank causing December 2015 to be the wettest month ever recorded.

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