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U.K. Puts Troops on 24-Hour Standby to Help With Winter Floods

  • Government also puts in place plans to secure power supplies
  • Ministers are preparing for ‘all that winter may bring’

Hundreds of soldiers will be on 24-hour standby to help with any flooding across England this winter as part of plans to keep the economy moving during the worst of British weather.

As many as 1,200 soldiers will be arranged in three groups across the country, so they can respond quickly if severe rainfall engulfs towns, according to a statement from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet Office. Ministers have also alerted the energy industry and put in place plans to secure power supplies and keep the lights on during the colder months.

“With the army standing by, we have the most comprehensive winter plan yet to keep people safe and the country moving,” said Ben Gummer, the minister responsible for the plans. “We are working together to prepare for all that winter may bring.”

Flooding brought misery and disruption to people living in northern England last year. With some forecasters suggesting this winter could be colder than average, local officials have stockpiled more grit this year to deal with ice on the roads.

“In the energy sector, the government works closely with the National Grid and other energy partners to make sure energy demands are managed,” the government said. “Gas and oil supplies are secure.”

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