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Pitt report: Britain was 'ill prepared for floods'

Flood-hit parts of of Britain were ill-prepared for last summer's devastating floods, an independent report has found.

Sir Michael Pitt is publishing his Government-commissioned review, containing 92 recommendations on how the country could be better equipped in the event of another flooding crisis.

Sir Michael, who published his interim findings last December, has already warned that flood planning should be on a par with fighting terrorism or a flu pandemic.

The floods last June and July devastated parts of Yorkshire and the Humber, with Hull, Sheffield and Doncaster hardest hit.

Areas in the South-west also took a hit, with Tewkesbury among the worst effected.

Thousands were forced from their homes and some families are still living in temporary accommodation.

Thousands more were left without power and water as the "biggest recovery operation since the Second World War" was mounted, according to Floods Recovery Minister John Healey.

In his review published on Wednesday, Sir Michael argues that the Government's £800 million-a-year flood defence budget for 2010 to 2011 was "about right" and should continue but he states that a big difference can be made by spending money more wisely, rather than simply spending more.

Sir Michael said: "What we are arguing is that we were not well prepared last summer for the scale of flooding that took place.

"Our recommendations are geared up to improve the response both locally and nationally. Most of the recommendations are not expensive. Most can take place within existing resources."

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