Thursday, 13 February 2014

UK Floods 2014.

This is not a full post as such, but it's only right to say a quick word about the floods that are currently impacting so much of the UK, I think. Areas of the West Country have been over a foot deep in water for around 8 weeks now. The main railway line to the South West - a line I have posted about several times on this blog and that I and many others absolutely delight in travelling on - has fallen into the sea at Dawlish.  Just this week the Thames Valley has - unsurprisingly perhaps given its name, and the current state of rivers everywhere, also become seriously affected. The biggest surprise to me is that in fact areas of London across to the West were also flooded several weeks ago - we saw as much when we walked the first stretch of the Thames path - yet those residents of Twickenham and the areas around it seemed to have slipped through the net of media coverage altogether. Perhaps they chose that, bearing in mind the chaos that seems to be being added to in some places by news crews, VIP visits, and those who actually, just want to go and gawk with a sort of ghoulish glee that it's not them affected. If you can help - offer something concrete in the way of support or assistance, then by all means go, do your thing, but if not, I simply don't get the whole ethos of "just going to see". (I expect they are the people who slow down to 20mph past the scene of accidents, too!). This also, by the way, applies to politicians in my opinion. If you have any actual power to do anything to help the situation, by all means visit - otherwise for goodness sake content yourself with BBC News. (And never fear lovely reader, that is as close as I'm going to come to Political comment on this blog or indeed any other social media platform!)

We can only hope that the next wave of "weather" which seems destined to hit our islands is the last of it for the time being, and the people affected can begin to rebuild their lives and their homes.

The Stunning coast-hugging Great Western Line.

Minor flooding affecting the Thames path - the homes on the far side had already flooded.


Marksgran said...

It really is so sad to see the coverage of the floods. The poor people affected will be ages getting over it and even if the rain stops tomorrow it will be ages before the ground dries out. I've read on Metcheck the cause of all these storms, the jetstream, has been blocked letting all the Atlantic storms hit us and its now showing signs it may move further north soon which should bring quieter weather for us again, however bearing in mind our normal weather, I can't imagine thats exactly great news either! We've been remarkably untouched by the storms here in Central Scotland but as we normally get the worst weather we can sympathise hugely from a distance. I hope the residents and farmers get the help they need to rebuild their lives after all this.

Robyn said...

It really does seem that "he who shouts loudest" is true here too though - the people in Somerset had been struggling on for so long, and barring the occasional bit of news coverage, they've just rolled up their sleeves and got on with it, but this means they've been LEFT to get on with it. I feel no less sorry for those who are flooded across in Berkshire and Surrey etc, but they do seem to have thoroughly played the political and media game on it.
Heartbreaking to see the coverage.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that in fact, there has been flooding all over the place since late December, it's just that the national media hadn't caught on when it first happened.

Here in Surrey the first storms hit over Christmas
and the flooding has become worse and more widespread since.

I find it incredible that those who have been made homeless and suffered such trauma and distress due to the flooding are accused of "thoroughly playing the political game".

Perhaps this was the only means by which they could get any real help from their government, either local or national ?

Robyn said...

Yes Lula, that's what I was getting at - it's all wrong that this is the only way that help was gained, but it's equally wrong that those who've been suffering for so long have only now really had the media and environment agency etc cottoning on. There was extensive reporting of the situation in the west country from when it first occurred - certainly the quality press & BBC News had quite a lot on it, I can't comment on what the tabloid papers or independant news featured as I don't read/watch them. However it was largely from reporters visiting and reporting back, rather than from those affected getting in contact with those outlets. It's appalling that anyone has been required to effectively shame the relevant agencies into helping them.
I'm sorry that you've interpreted my comment above that I was "accusing" anyone of anything - that certainly wasn't the way it was written.