THE RECENT FLOODS
The Somerset Guardian, 19th February 2020
The recent floods, caused by Storm Ciara and then Dennis, have wreaked havoc across the country over the past few weeks. Lives have been lost, villages and towns are under water, properties and possessions are gone.
This week the Government has issued six flood warnings with the severity indicating that there could be loss of life. Moreover, an additional 147 flood warnings anticipating immediate action have been announced as well as 184 general notices of likely flooding from Aldingbourne and Barnham Rifes to Witham, North Kevestan. The warnings have extended to rivers in the United Kingdom (UK); in York, the River Ouse has reached over fourteen feet above its normal level.
When interviewed, Dave Throup, Environment Agency manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire said: "This is not normal flooding, we are in uncharted territory." Mr. Throup’s comments are pertinent, not only for understanding the extent of the current crisis but importantly, for the long term, which is why I am pleased to hear that the Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has allocated £4bn for the next five years to deal with the consequences of extreme weather and measures to forestall it.
We have been fortunate in North East Somerset on this occasion to avoid the level of devastation that so many around the UK have faced this month. This is not all down to chance as it is noticeable that some of the local drainage works that have taken place in recent years by the Bath and North East Somerset Council has been effective. It is important that similar work is done across the country. Nonetheless, I am sure that readers will join me in saying that those affected are in our thoughts and hope that their lives will soon return to normal soon.