Atmosphere And Weather

Englands Worst Flooding on Record



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In 2007, I was personally affected by flooding in the UK. It was the worst rainfall I have ever experienced in the City where I have lived all my life. Here in Hull, Yorkshire, weeks of heavy rain sowed the seed for the floods. Torrential rain that lasted for a full day saw homes swamped with water flooding in or rising up from sodden ground that lay below people's homes. It was the middle of summer.

Hull saw one sad fatality, but other cities experienced worse. The damage that this summer flooding caused in Hull is still being felt in August 2009. Houses that experienced secondary flooding, which was left untreated, are now finding rising damp and worse. As insurer' usually set a limit of three years for such claims, time is of the essence. Apart from those who have only recently been displaced due to secondary flooding, there are still locals living in temporary accommodation, such as caravans, until their homes are fully restored. This is more than two years down the road. The 2007 floods are now classed as the worst floods on record, for England, but the 21st Century had already experienced flooding in England in 2000 and in 2005. Hull as usual became the forgotten and ignored city. However, there were plenty of areas of the country that were affected.

There was little wonder that even people of my age group had little experience of such flooding, as the last severe flooding in England prior to 2007 was in 1947. This flooding came about due to a different set of circumstances. In 2007, it was summer, yet the ground was waterlogged and could not absorb any more water. In 1947, the flooding occurred during a very cold winter.

With extreme snowfalls, there was plenty of snow to melt when a thaw came. However, with the bitterly cold temperatures that England had been experiencing, the ground was still rock hard. This meant that the melting snow was not absorbed and had nowhere to go. The waters only option was to flow away which caused flooding. In years gone by, English winters usually saw much more snow than in recent years, and so flooding was always a possibility when the thaw came. However, the winter of 1947 is on record for having one of the highest snowfalls in English history.

Flooding has been recorded in England over the years, and even many centuries ago England was often art the mercy of water. 1099 it would seem was one of the years on record for English flooding. At this time, it was storm waves coupled with high tides which did the damage. It is thought that thousands of people were killed. When you consider the lower population level back then, this amount of people is frightening.

With parts of England being low lying, flooding is I guess inevitable. Hull installed a tidal barrier some years ago which has helped, but nothing can protect us from events such as those in 2007. With climate change and global warming, flooding unfortunately may occur more often in England in the future. I certainly hope it does not, but only time will tell.

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