Baku, December 28, AZERTAC
The British Army stepped in on Sunday to help evacuate hundreds of people from waterlogged homes across the country, as swollen rivers and heavy rainfall brought misery to parts of the north and unleashed a spate of political recriminations, according to The New York Times.
Accustomed to heavy rainfall, Britain has been hit several times by flooding recently, but the effects of the latest episode have spread beyond rural areas, leaving parts of York, Leeds and Manchester submerged.
Threatened by its two rising rivers, York became the focus for emergency workers over the weekend as floodwaters engulfed many shops and pubs and came close to the ancient city’s historical buildings.
The military, which had already been deployed in Cumbria, joined the police and mountain rescue teams in York on Sunday to help people from their homes and to bolster the city’s flood defenses with sandbags. Twenty roads were closed, and around 3,500 properties were thought to be vulnerable to the rising waters.
After a telephone conference with ministers and officials on an emergency committee, Prime Minister David Cameron promised on Sunday to send more troops to “do whatever is needed” in parts of the country stricken by floods caused by what he described as “unprecedented” conditions. “What has happened — the level of the rivers, plus the level of rainfall — has created an unprecedented effect and so some very serious flooding,” Mr. Cameron told the BBC.
On Sunday, Mr. Cameron’s office said 200 military personnel were being deployed to flood-affected areas, alongside the 300 already there, with a further 1,000 being held in reserve in case the situation worsened. His office also said hard-hit regions might receive special financial help.
The disruption to major cities has prompted a more general debate about the extent to which Britain is willing to invest in adapting to the effects of climate change.