This was a shot on Plymouth Hoe a couple of days ago when winds reached Force 9
We are in the grip of some of the worst flooding I can recall here in
the UK and its only November. I read
that today 800 homes have been flooded after storms hit parts of England and
Wales. My own home countries of Devon and Cornwall have been very badly hit and
a young lady of 21 was tragically killed in Exeter by a falling tree.
Flooding in Southway, a suburb here in Plymouth
220 flood warnings in place across just England; 57 in the south west where I
live. More flooding is expected and on its way! We had an astonishing 60mm of
rainfall just last night. I woke at 3am to see the wind howling down my street,
something I rarely see as I live on the slope of a north facing hill which shelters
us from the south west gales.
Flooding just outside Exeter
In my city Plymouth, 60 people had to be evacuated due to safety
concerns in at least twelve different places around the city and many cars were
abandoned. We are still cut off by rail from the rest of the country as the
only two railway routes out of the south west are blocked or washed away just
outside the north of Exeter.
The main line from Penzance to Paddington, London. Or it was. The double line behind in the field - are collapsed power cables!
It will take a week to get these railway lines
back up to safe usage. The Met Office has issued an Amber weather warning for
50 to 70 mm of rain by the end of Monday.
The problem is
run off from already wet fields that could lead to further river and surface
water flooding; and then there are the strong winds that could worsen surface
water flooding, as wind-blown leaves and debris block drains.
One of our local villages somewhat cut off at present
As I sit here
typing this the rain is pounding off the roof outside. The back decking is
already an inch under water but we are safe. I worry at times that our garden,
on a steep slope and heavily wooded may suffer a landslide but it is very
doubtful. There are branches down in the wood in the upper garden; the trees at
the front have lost all their bright coloured autumn foliage. We’ll have some
clearing up to do outside I suspect. But that is nothing compared to people
around Devon who are clearing flood damaged possessions and gungy floodwater
silt out of their front doors.
Our Emergency Services, Enviornment Agency, Highways and local authority staff have been truly amazing
is a nasty affair. It means you are out of your house for up to a year; the
walls have to be replastered; all the wiring redone; floorboard replaced. And
how do you replace all the photo albums full of memories of your life from
childhood. I know the consequences of flooding are worse if you live in a poor
country like Bangladesh, but even here in the UK, it has devastating effects.
So many rivers in Devon have burst their banks and there is still much more rain to come
The Environment Agency is reminding people in affected areas to keep up to date with the latest flood warnings on the Environment Agency website and to sign up to the free flood warnings sent to mobiles as text messages. In a twist of fate I am right in the middle of teaching flooding to my A level geography groups; no shortage of case study material at the moment!
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