Saturday, November 21, 2009

Britain was battered


Britain is used to bad weather in winter but this year things seem to have got dramatically worse. High winds and heavy rain have caused untold damage already.

Yesterday it was torrential rain over the north of England, Wales and southern Scotland that brought misery to those living there.

The Environment Agency said that the flooding across the region on Thursday was so severe that such an event was likely to happen only once in 1,000 years. The rainfall, on to an already saturated terrain, was the highest level measured in England since records began. Meteorologists recorded 314mm (12in) of rain in 24 hours and flood warnings remained in place across the North West of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Four bridges in Cumbria were washed away including one where a policeman, who was trying to help people to cross fell to his death. Cumbria County Council issued a warning to motorists and pedestrians to avoid using such crossings as they could be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of homes and businesses were evacuated, many of them ruined by floodwater and mud.

Emergency services continued to rescue those still trapped yesterday. They urged anyone who had gone to see the destruction for themselves to leave because their vehicles were blocking roads and hampering efforts to reach the worst-hit areas. In Cockermouth, the town worst hit by the flooding, people were winched from the waters. The two rivers that run through the town burst their banks, blocking roads and forcing the rescue of more than 200 people.

It appeared that the worst may be over. By early yesterday morning the flood levels dropped by about 2in an hour. Police estimated that 1,100 homes across the county were affected by flooding.

No comments: