Planning for flooding should have the same priority as terrorism or flu prevention, the independent reviewer into the summer floods says.

Sir Michael Pitt also said the public should have been better prepared for the severe floods which damaged thousands of homes in England.

The interim report urged local government and emergency services to improve their knowledge and practices. The government has said it agrees with the report's 15 key recommendations.

A further 72 recommendations Sir Michael made are being studied in detail by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Sir Michael called on the government to take a "broad, strategic role" in ensuring the review's recommendations were introduced, but also to address how it plans for flooding - which is "now such a major issue".

"We're trying to raise the priority of flooding, putting it on a level that is somewhat similar to terrorism or pandemic flu."


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