The UK Floods — Old and new

Whether it is global warming or something else, floods have been a reality for people living in some areas of the UK, and for longer than you’d think.

There may be no equivalent of Louisiana in the UK with its bayous, but the Norfolk Broads are not entirely dissimilar and have always been vulnerable to flooding. They and the region’s residents have been hit rather hard this year, including two women interviewed by the BBC in this short clip.

Being a vast country, the US is much better organised than the UK, and the private sector is heavily involved in water damage restoration.

Here, on the other hand we tend to rely on the Government, and on the kindness of strangers.

Norman Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk, has made a public appeal, but even before that, local people were rallying round.

North Wales has also been badly hit, while down on the South East coast, Britain’s leading Libertarian and denizen of Deal, Sean Gabb, informed readers of his blog that: “The sea is already an alarming sight. Five miles along the shore, parts of Sandwich are being evacuated.”

Yet another area of the UK that has been hit badly is North Lincolnshire.

Sixty years ago, the East Coast including the Thames Estuary suffered what the worst national peacetime disaster to hit the UK, according to the Met Office. It has a dedicated page on its website which some interesting background information.

Although an island nation, Britain has not exactly been at war with the sea, but the lost town of Dunwich is a fascinating exception, though it is something of an exaggeration to call it Britain’s Atlantis. Dunwich appears in the Al Stewart song The Coldest Winter In Memory.

Romanticising about the past is one thing, but what is to be done in the meantime, and just as importantly, for the future? Four and a half years ago, the Government set up the Flood Forecasting Centre. In addition to that, the Environment Agency has an active programme of flood management, which includes maintaining flood and coastal defences.

[The above article was published originally December 9, 2013; it was not edited but almost immediately the above photograph was removed and replaced with an entirely different one, something I found extremely annoying for some reason.]

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