Tuesday, 24 July 2007

This photograph taken from the BBC website gives you an idea of many parts of the UK this summer. It is wet, wet, wet. Heaven help the holidaymaker.

The Severn and the Thames are bursting their banks and running at ferocious speeds. Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes and last night many more lost both their clean water and electricity supplies because food water had swamped the power station.

A couple of weeks ago it was Sheffield and Hull that were inundated. A couple of years ago it was Carlisle. It looks like this is the way things are going to be.

Here on the Tyne valley we seem to have missed the worst. The Tyne is high, certainly, but nothing like the Severn. Flash floods have always been common on this river. Rain on the hills takes between five and seven hours to come down from Alston to Newcastle, and once it hits Newcastle it is contained, probably because the bed of the river was dredged so deep to take the nineteenth century shipping. It is also tidal. There is room to take the extra flow.

This week water has been running down hills because the ground is so sodden it can't absorb any more. Some houses have been flooded simply by rain water running off the hillsides and into their homes. It created mini lakes in Hexham and you can see the pictures and reports in the Hexham Courant at http://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/

Gymkhanas, county shows, vintage car rallies - if it takes place in a field, it has probably been cancelled because the ground is too waterlogged to walk on, let alone park cars and trailers on it. This summer is drear indeed.

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