Devon

Devon gets nearly £500,000 to help cope with flood risk

Flooding at Budleigh Salterton, Devon
Image caption Floodwaters rose to 4ft (1.2m) in parts of east Devon in October 2008

Devon is to be given nearly £500,000 next year from the government to help deal with flooding.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the money would go a long way to help councils identify and deal with the risk of flooding.

Devon County Council will receive £207,000, while Plymouth and Torbay will each get £120,000.

Councils will be given the freedom to decide how best to use the money.

It could include drawing up management plans to protect and support areas which could be at risk, while some of the cash might be spent on supporting local flood awareness groups.

'Freak event'

"Each local authority can decide where the money will be of most use," Ms Spelman said.

"It could be used to pay members of staff, to come up with plans for dealing with surface water flooding or generally work with the public on how best to deal with flooding."

A total of £21m will be given to local councils across the country next year.

In October 2008, hundreds of homes were flooded after what the Met Office described as a "freak event" of heavy rain, hail and snow hit parts of east Devon.

People had to be rescued by air from houses and cars as floodwaters rose up to 4ft (1.2m).

Ottery St Mary, Budleigh Salterton and Feniton were among the areas worst hit.

More money will be given to Devon's councils in 2012 to help them cope with flooding.

Devon will get £548,000, while Plymouth and Torby will be given £154,000 each.

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