Posted: 12/02/2014 at 16:19
As far as I'm aware there has never been a case of so many storms following each other so quickly and on top of an already wet winter that has saturated the ground so it can absorb no more water.
A hydrology expert on the news today said that no amount of dredging would have saved the Somerset Levels from flooding in these conditions and the current climate trend is for wetter, stormier winters. As for the Severn and Thames basins, a lot of the problem is from what is happening higher up nearer the source and the inability of the ground to absorb water. Springs bubbling up through floors and gatdens are not about river management but soil saturation.
I think that councils could and should have called in the army earlier to help with pumping and sandbags but I also think that any building along rivers and flood plains and catchment areas should be required to have flood defence in mind and raise ground floor levels. The Dutch manage to do it so the technology is there.
I also think that there needs to be joined up thinking in land management from farming techiques and crops grown to industrial and housing developments using porous materials in landscaping and for parking.
I feel desperately sorry for all the people who have been flooded, their businesses and jobs, their pets and livestock and the wildlife. I hope they get all the help they need to recover when the rain does finally stop and they can dry out and repair their homes and lives.