Emergency funding bid for flood damage

11:30 14 July 2012

Archant

Devon will seek emergency Government funding to help with the costs of last weekend’s flood damage.

Initial estimates by Devon County Council revealed that the clear up cost will be more than £1million and that the repair bill to Devon’s highway network will top £3million. Those figures are likely to increase as the assessments have so far only been based on around a quarter of the county’s roads, the majority of which have been the major A and B roads.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “We will have to apply to the Government for emergency funding under the Bellwin scheme.

“The overall costs of the clear up will be more than £1 million and are expected to increase further, and the repair costs are in excess of £3 million.

“That is based on just 25 per cent of the network surveyed so far, so these costs are also likely to rise. We have further warnings of more heavy rain so we have to be prepared to expect the possibility of further disruption.”

At a meeting of DCC’s cabinet on Wednesday, it was agreed to apply for funding under the Bellwin scheme, which can be used to reimburse local authorities following an emergency or disaster.

There has been significant damage to highway structures in parts of Devon, with bridge parapets damaged or completely washed away, while some embankments have collapsed and may now require retaining walls.

The damage to Devon’s road network is still being assessed and repair work is being prioritised on the busiest routes, with patching being carried out where the surface has lifted or blown.

Highways teams are also continuing to clear debris, drainage ditches and blocked drains on major roads. Landslides are also being removed from roads.

According to the Environment Agency, up to 90mm of rain fell in parts of South Devon and up to 120mm in parts of East Devon overnight on Friday and into Saturday.

Early estimates are that more than 140 properties have been affected by the flooding in Devon, but it is thought that this number will rise.

There was also cross party support at the cabinet meeting, with councillors praising all staff, agencies, and members of the community involved in dealing with the flooding incidents.

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