February 2020 floods reviews trigger clarion call to step up response to Climate Emergency impacts - Natural Resources Wales

The lessons learnt from February’s floods must be the catalyst for a seismic shift in how Wales responds to the climate emergency and manages its future flood risk.

That is the urgent call to action by the Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Clare Pillman as the organisation publishes its reviews into its response to February’s flood events today (22 October 2020).

The record rainfall and river flows triggered by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge earlier this year arrived following an exceptionally wet winter and led to the most severe and widespread flooding incidents seen in Wales since 1979, which also impacted many of the same communities.

Investments made in NRW defences since that time have significantly improved Wales’ resilience to extreme rainfall. Across the whole of Wales, 73,000 properties benefit from NRW’s flood defences and it is estimated that 19,000 properties in South Wales escaped the flood waters during Storm Dennis due to the presence of NRW defences.

Yet the impacts of the successive storms earlier this year were felt across right across the nation as 3,130* properties succumbed to the ensuing flood waters over the course of the month.

The Met Office later confirmed that February 2020 would enter its record books as the wettest February on record and fifth wettest month since records began in 1862.

The call to action comes on the day that NRW publishes the outcomes of its reviews into its response to the February storms.

Posted on: 23 October 2020

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