Down came the rain

As bridges get swept away, and people’s homes are flooded for the third time, as livestock are rescued from the hills and the army arrives to help rescue people from their own homes, the rain keeps coming… a new storm, Storm Frank is arriving over the Northwest and West of the British Isles, inundating the already sodden hills.  For us who live a matter of miles from the Somerset Levels which were disastrously flooded at the same time of year in 2013-14, it is a terrible reminder of what a dreadful danger water and flooding can pose.

To be sure there is unprecedented rainfall, more is coming down from the sky than has been recorded ever before and the land has absorbed more than it can hold, the rivers more  than they can contain, and other water-courses have vanished under the lakes moving with swift running and deadly currents. The flood water isn’t just filthy with mud and debris, but is vile with sewerage, dead creatures, oil, chemicals and stinking rubbish and muck. I am sure in past times there were dreadful floods and inundations, but these days there are certain things which are done which we actually know cause problems.

Outside of the debate about global warming and whether or not our different events are due to what we do  (which I actually believe they are) it makes no sense at all to build new houses on flood plains, to change the courses of rivers so they run more conveniently, more straight, to disregard what local people say about the particular events which happen in their own region… where it floods, where water lies, where tides affect the surrounding littoral…

As Frank approaches and night draws on, I really hope the people of the North of our country are safe, and it doesn’t rain quite as much, the river doesn’t swell quite as expected, the earth absorbs a little more…

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