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RABI to hand out further emergency cash as danger to life flood warnings remain

Five danger to life severe flood warnings continue to be in place in areas surrounding the River Don, South Yorkshire, with 38 flood warnings and 91 flood alerts across the rest of the country.  

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RABI to hand out further emergency cash as danger to life flood warnings remain

Unrelenting rain has prompted farming charity RABI to release further emergency payments from its Crisis Fund for the second time this month.

 

Five danger to life severe flood warnings continue to be in place in areas surrounding the River Don, South Yorkshire, with 38 flood warnings and 91 flood alerts across the rest of the country.

 

Farmers in the area blamed a lack of maintenance in the river and said local authorities had done ‘not much’ in helping relieve the situation.

 

Farmer Robert Robinson told the national news: “My whole farm is just covered in water.


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“We desperately need the River Don to be dredged and cleaned out – it is there to transport water and it is not doing its job correctly.”

 

The Environment Agency said dredging was ‘not the right thing to do’ in the River Don and other measures such as flood walls and pumping stations and storage were a ‘more effective way’ of managing the flood risk.

 

Impact

It urged those affected to evacuate, keep up-to-date with messages and to take advice from emergency services.

 

September 2019 figures suggested England was hit by 97.5 per cent more rainfall than the September prior, and more recent rain has seen parts of the country battered by one months’ worth of rain in a weekend.

 

The NFU has ongoing dialogue with Defra, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and the Environment Agency ‘to encourage flexibility and ease the problems of cash flow’.

 

The RPA has also been asked to consider recent events as force majeure for farmers in agri-environment schemes.

Anyone thought to have not been able to comply with their obligations should contact RPA within 15 days from the date on which they are in a position to do so, and give with it written evidence.

 

NFU deputy president Guy Smith said: “I have heard from members across the country who are increasingly worried about the impacts this will have on their businesses next year, particularly increased financial pressure.

 

“It is at times like these that Defra needs to remember it is a supportive department for the nation’s food producers, not just a regulatory one.

 

“Our future domestic agricultural policy must recognise this and ensure there are measures for farm businesses to manage volatility, particularly in the face of increasingly unpredictable weather.”

 

RABI said applications would be fast-tracked to provide assistance to farmers affected by the latest floods.

 

Anyone affected by the flooding should call R.A.B.I’s confidential Freephone Helpline on 0808 281 9490.

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