AS CARLISLE was hit by more floods overnight, and heavy rain was predicted for the North West and the Yorkshire Dales, the Environment Agency today issued a stern warning that five million people in England and Wales were living in potential flood areas.
But more than two million of those are unaware of the danger - and almost a third of them have not even checked to see if their household insurance covered flood damage.
The agency issued its warning after a survey showed that millions of people were complacent about the possible threats: almost 70% had given no thought to making preparations which might protect their homes.
In recent years, the pattern of flooding in the Yorkshire Dales seems to have changed. Once it was a regular spring event, caused by the melting of snow on the hills. But there have been few harsh winters in the past decade to bring heavy snowfalls.
Now, freak rainstorms can happen at virtually any time of the year and recent autumns have seen major flooding in the Aire and Wharfe valleys. The Environment Agency is urging householders to check their insurance details and seek advice on how to make their properties less susceptible to flood damage.