UK Floods

The floods in the UK are a miserable and devastating time for those who are affected and my heart goes out to those suffering.

I have experienced two floods in my time. One with torrential rain pouring into the drains and they couldn’t cope and so our house got flooded. We found out later that the drains were blocked and had been waiting for proper maintainance for months.

The second flood was in Spain where I was living. It was total devastation to our home and belongings and we had no insurance. We were without power and fresh water for days. We knew though that the flood could have been avoided. In Spain they are totally prepared for rivers to flood so they have put in wide and huge drainage gulleys and pipes down the mountainsides to carry the flood waters through the town and back to the river further out of town.

However because there had been no flooding for years complacency set in and the flood relief scheme was blocked, cracked or broken in some areas. This resulted in a huge deluge of water rising up in the ravine and breaking the banks of the river where we lived and pouring into our courtyard.

This wouldn’t have mattered if our neighbour hadn’t illegally put up gates that he kept locked over the flood relief pathway. The rushing tumult of water had no where to go, so it swirled and rampaged in the court yard and knocked our front door down and blew up electrical equipment that was still plugged in; it saturated and muddied our beds and destroyed cupboards and the contents and swept all our belongings out of the barn where they were stored. Bikes, stored boxes awaiting unpacking, fridges were scooped up by the water and thrown against doors and walls and … O dear what a pity, against the pillars holding up the neighbour’s gates. Eventually after the damage had been done to our home one pillar collapsed, the gates were askew and the water could escape.

So I can’t help wondering why so many people in the UK have suffered damage to their homes due to flood water during the recent events. Is it global warming and a freak of nature or is it human error? Because in my experience both the floodings that I have experienced were down to human error.

I had been told by a representative from the River Authorities that if there is a one in one hundred chance that a river will flood then it could flood twice or three times in two years and never again for 200 years. Statistics therefore are meaningless. The fact of the matter is that a river will flood. That is the point of them. They collect water from the mountains and hillsides. That is how they are formed, rivers are water finding the lowest point to get to the sea.

So why on earth is anyone surprised when nature does its thing?Why is anyone allowed to build on a flood plain? And why on earth doesn’t everyone maintain and respect flood relief schemes?

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