Boris Johnson blames severe UK floods on climate change and construction

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pointed to construction and climate change as two potential reasons for severe flooding in the UK which has claimed the life of a woman, disrupted rail services, and caused property damage.
  • “We are seeing more and more serious flooding – perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change,” he said, according to the BBC.
  • The floodwaters have swept a woman into a river, led to cancellations and diversions of train services, and raised at least one river to a record height.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson pointed to construction and climate change as two potential reasons for severe flooding in parts of the UK, which has claimed the life of a woman, disrupted rail services, and caused property damage.

“People have been moved out of their homes and probably hundreds of businesses have seen damage to their properties,” Johnson said during a Friday visit to Matlock, a town in Derbyshire in the East Midlands, according to the BBC.

“We are seeing more and more serious flooding – perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change,” he added.

A woman was swept into the River Derwent near the Derbyshire village of Rowsley on Friday, the BBC reported. Her body was found about two miles away in Derby Dale.

Severe flood warnings remain in place on the River Don in South Yorkshire, after it swelled to a record height of just over 6.3 meters.

The floodwaters have resulted in the cancellation of train services between Matlock, Derby, and Nottingham and led to diversions between Derby and Chesterfield.

About 4.4 inches (112 millimeters) of rain fell on the UK’s Peak District on Thursday, exceeding the 3.5 inches of monthly rainfall that Yorkshire typically receives at this time of year.

“Some places have seen a month’s worth of rain in one day,” a Met Office meteorologist told Sky News.

While the government is unlikely to deem the current situation a national emergency, Johnson said, it has earmarked £2.6 billion ($3.3 billion) for a “huge programme of flood defenses and flood preparation”.