Sunday, 22 November 2009


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.


Anita Davison said...

I've been watching these reports too with dismay, Jen. What annoys me, is that when something like this happens in Outer Islamadad, the tin rattlers are lined up outside the post office the next morning collecting 'Relief' money. Where are they now? Don't our own people need urgent help at such a time?
As someone who has had their home flooded just before Christmas and had to live with ten blowing machines drying the house out for eight weeks before they could rebuild it, I can vouch for how devastating flooding is - [and it was clean water too]- so I really feel for the Cumbrians.

Jen Black said...

Oh Anita, and you never said a word at the time!
To be fair I did see a shot on the news of a hall filled with clothes and bedding "donated to help" and local supermarkets are sending in food. But as you say, everything seems to be geared to "abroad."