Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".






Sunday, 25 November 2012

Flooding in the UK


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
 
 We have 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

 Flooding 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!

Steve
 
All images are copyright of 'Evening Herald'; 'This is Exeter'; The Times; The Daily Mail; ITV .com; BBC news website

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