Deputy Environment Minister Lewis Macdonald declared UK£14M (US$26M) worth of funding for flood defences across the Braid Burn river, Edinburgh. The scheme is due to be completed by autumn 2007, and will reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses along the river.

‘This scheme will give a high standard of protection and help to relieve the worry and distress of residents and business people who have suffered from flooding from the Braid Burn in recent years,’ said Macdonald.

City of Edinburgh Council is promoting the scheme to protect over 900 homes in the suburbs of Edinburgh that are at risk of flooding from the Braid Burn. It includes the construction of a combination of floodwalls, embankments, bridge and culvert improvements at various locations, the formation of flood storage areas and environmental mitigation measures such as encouraging river meanders and the natural development of wetland margins.

This extra funding follows UK Flood and Coastal Defence Minister Elliot Morley’s announcement in November 2004 of a record UK£570M (US$1B) Defra grant for 2005-06.

Over the weekend areas of Scotland, Northern England and Wales suffered serious floods due to heavy rainfall and melting snow, and many parts of the country are still on flood alert as rains continue.

Carlisle, North West England, was one of the worse hit places. Schools, roads and the police headquarters have been closed and many residents are unable to return to their homes. Tens of thousands of people have been left without power.

Three people were killed and a further two are still missing.

Although less rain is expected in Carlisle today, the city could be hit with more storms on Wednesday, according to BBC News.