Flood risk in Hull despite improvements, warns expert

Man on surfboard in flooded Hull street
Image caption Large parts of Hull were flooded after heavy rain in summer 2007

Flooding which devastated parts of Hull five years ago could occur again despite improvements to better prepare the city, an expert has warned.

More than 10,000 properties were affected when rain overwhelmed the city's drainage system in 2007.

Hull University expert Prof Lynne Frostick said flooding remained a threat despite investment in drainage and pumping stations.

Yorkshire Water said it had spent £30m to improve the sewerage system.

Prof Frostick, co-author of a 2010 report into the flooding, said: "Yorkshire Water has invested quite a lot money into improving some of the pumping facilities and people have been told a bit more about flooding and given more information that would allow them to prepare for flooding.

"But I think if we did get that amount of water again, then I think we'd have flooding. It may not be as bad as last time but we'd still have flooding."

Warnings ignored

Richard Sears, from Yorkshire Water, said the company had spent £30m on improving pumping systems and building water storage lagoons around Hull.

"We've increased the resilience of our sewerage system," he said

"So, if we did see a repeat of the rainfall event of 2007 Hull would probably still flood, but it wouldn't be on the scale or severity of what we've seen in the past."

An independent review into the 2007 floods said Yorkshire Water had ignored repeated warnings about the state of its drainage and pumping systems.

In 2010, Hull City Council commissioned the report from an independent body chaired by Tom Coulthard, professor of physical geography at Hull University.

It concluded that more than 8,600 homes, 1,300 business and 90 schools suffered flood damage as a result of the heavy rain.

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