While Cumbria drowns we on the east of the Pennines suffer no more than a few rainy days. I suppose the east had it last year, when several places like Morpeth and Rothbury were almost washed away. It beggars belief how complacent we have become, building so close to waterways and rivers. Fine maybe in drought years, but what about the wet years? And the UK is predominantly a wet country, strung with rivers and canals, with a climate that is temperate and given to generous rainfall.
People talk of unprecedented levels of rain in 24 hours, but had there not been rain for days beforehand, the land would have soaked it up and drained it away. May as well blame the land, already full of water and unable to soak up more. Seems to me it's our old friend multiple causality again. The lesson to be learned?
Do not buy a house built on a flood plain. We seem to have forgotten what flood plains are, or why they were there. Better by far, if faced with a choice, to buy a house on higher land, out of reach of the river. The thought of sour-smelling river mud and worse creeping up through drains and catflaps while I sleep, coating every surface of my home, sends shudders through me. I don't know how the people caught this time will recover and begin again. I hope they will, with help from agencies and donations, and hope it will be somewhere safer.