Thursday, December 31, 2015

Storm Frank cuts power, floods homes in Britain

LONDON — Many homes remained flooded and without power on Thursday, after heavy rain and strong winds battered northern Britain.
Storm Frank spread on Tuesday and Wednesday, damaging property and affecting roads and rail services in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The government-affiliated Environment Agency said more than 6,700 homes in the north of England were flooded during the last week as river levels reached all-time highs.
The Energy Networks Association, which represents power operators in the United Kingdom, said around 1,000 customers still had no power Thursday morning, and that energy to nearly 100,000 properties was restored since Tuesday.
Flood warnings remained in place in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Thursday.
Britain's Met Office removed it's severe weather warnings overnight Wednesday, but predicted some heavy showers on Thursday, and fine and dry weather in many areas on New Year's Day. It said that rain and strong winds are expected to return during the weekend, adding that storms such as Frank are not unusual for this time of year.
Britain's government has been criticized for its spending on flood defenses. Prime Minister David Cameron said $270 million a year will be spent on improvements in the next six years, but funding for protection against flooding has declined in the past five years, the National Audit Office said.

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