Manx chief minister announces £60m flood defence fund

Image caption,
Laxey was cut off from the island when a river burst its banks in October

A £60m fund has been set aside to pay for flood defences across the Isle of Man, the chief minister has said.

A government report in the aftermath of severe flooding in 2015 found 11 areas of the island to be at high risk.

Howard Quayle told the House of Keys that new projects to protect them would be funded "as quickly as possible" but said spending "must be done properly".

Tim Baker MHK said the government and land owners also needed a "joined-up approach" to flood management.

Heavy rain in October caused severe flooding on the island and led to Laxey being cut off when its namesake river burst its banks.

Mr Quayle said work to strengthen flood defences was continuing and after the completion of a tidal wall project in Castletown, Ramsey would be the next area addressed.

The towns suffered widespread flooding in January 2014 and due to the threat of "tidal surge", they were identified as the two highest-risk areas in the report.

Parts of Douglas, Port Erin and Port St Mary, Colby, Peel, Kirk Michael, Ballaugh, Andreas, The Ayres and Laxey were also identified as being in danger.

Mr Quayle said he also wanted to "look at beefing up legislation" to give local authorities the power to check for river obstructions on private land.

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