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Flood facts

Your recent story 'Rivers more to blame for floods than claimed' (NCE 24 January) is misleading.

You say in your article, "Rooke's admission suggests that the Agency's two-thirds figure is inaccurate and that a much greater proportion of flood water came from rivers overtopping." It is wrong to reach this conclusion from what I said.

We are confident about the numbers of properties that flooded from main rivers overtopping.

There were many places that flooded from drains, sewers, culverts and ditches where rivers played no part, such as London (1,400 properties flooded), Hull (8,000 properties) and Thatcham (1,800 properties).

However the issue I raised is how many properties flooded from drains, sewers, culverts and ditches that could not freely discharge into rivers because of high river levels.

This highlights design issues during times of intense rainfall around storage capacity and the ability of drains to discharge into rivers. We are willing to discuss and resolve this.

Those people whose homes were flooded want a solution - not an argument about numbers.

DAVID ROOKE, Head of Flood Risk Management, Environment Agency, Rio House, Waterside Drive, Aztec West, Bristol BS32 4UD

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