Floods catastrophe in England

They are the worst floods in modern history, says a breaking news report on Sky News.

The flood crisis grows as rivers rise, says a BBC News report.

All the TV news has nothing but reporting on the growing catastrophe affecting large parts of central England, which looks set to get even worse during the next 24 hours in the areas this BBC News map shows:


I find it incredible that, nearly four days after the torrential rains in so many places, there are still people stranded and still whole towns cut off with roads completely impassable. Many places have no running water nor electricity.

Now all the rain is swelling the major rivers you see in the map, providing near-certain misery for thousands of people.

Is the government doing enough? Well, they’ve announced a review into the flooding.

Great. Not much comfort for anyone today or tomorrow in any of the flood-risk areas in the map.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Armin

    Well, I guess there’s a limit to what the government can do right now. They can’t magically make the water go away either.

    The government and local authorities (as well as companies and individuals) could have done quite a few things much earlier to prevent this happening, but that question is pretty much academic now as it has now happened already.

    The big question is what and how much will be learned from all this. Both by the government and by the population. We are all responsible.

  2. neville

    Undoubtedly, Armin – plenty that governments, organizations and individuals could have done beforehand.

    I’m seeing a lot of commentary about flood defences that have proved to be inadequate. Whose responsibility is that? Government’s, I would have thought, whether it’s central or local.

    And no doubt finger-pointing will get underway in earnest once the immediate crisis is passing.

    I think all the great discussion needs to take place later. Priority has to be urgent and immediate help that’s coordinated and massive. Surely the army could be mobilized to rescue trapped people, for instance, on a far greater scale and so far more quickly than is currently happening.

    Such things may be happening now but you don’t get the feeling they are.

    Latest news I saw a moment ago is that over 420,000 people in Gloucestershire are now without running water, expected to last several days. Not good at all.

  3. Armin

    Agree on the army, from what I’ve seen this happens far far quicker in other countries. They can also help to build emergency flood defences with sandbags etc. I know that happens big time in Germany if something similar happens.

    Slightly different thoughts on the flood defences and related areas. Yes, the government and local authorities are responsible for the big picture. But individuals also a play a big role:

    We all need to question if it is the right decision to build in certain areas. We all need to question if we really all need houses if for a lot of people flats (which need less space) would be sufficient. We all need to question ourselves or our neighbours if it is a wise decision to concrete over more and more front gardens and ‘patio-ise’ back gardens, stopping surface water to dissipate.

    Now you might argue these are all minor questions. Yes, looked at the individually they are. But they add up. Each concrete front garden looked at individually is tiny. But if you add all of them together you suddenly have a huge area. And that’s where pretty much all of us come in.

  4. neville

    Those are good points, Armin, re building in certain areas. One news headline today talks about government plans to still allow new housing to be built on flood plains. Sounds completely crazy to me, no matter the needs for new housing.

    Interesting re gardens and patios. Everywhere you look, people are patio-ing their front lawns with decorative brickwork, etc. Looks nice but it must have a collective effect on drainage, as you note.

    In any event, the current flood situation is not good. Looks like Reading is in for it tomorrow as all that floodwater makes its way down the Thames. And more heavy rain forecast for Wednesday.

  5. Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with "sketch")

    I was in Leamington during the Good Friday flood of 1998, and the damage then was bad enough. (I woke up to find the ordinarily placid river Leam, normally two streets away, in my back yard. Fortunately for me, I lived on the 2nd floor (as the Brits reckon it).

    This looks ghastly, and I hope it stops raining soon.

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