6 July 2007

Rain

For Sheffield and much of South and East Yorkshire, last month was not just ludicrous, it was devastatingly tragic. Sheffield suffered 400% more rain than the June average. Even as early as the 14th, 88mm fell in just one day. Hence the land was sodden when the worst rain of all gushed down on the 25th and 26th of the month. It was officially Sheffield's wettest ever month - not just the wettest June but the wettest month in our city since records began. This weekend looks promising but even into July the skies have been heavy and leaden with rain either falling or threatening.

Another Yorkshire city to be hit hard on the 25th was Hull - home to my beloved Hull City AFC. Nearly two weeks after the flooding began, they reckon that some 17,000 homes have been badly affected (only 1260 in Sheffield!) For many of these people, the aftermath doesn't bear thinking about - stripping of plaster walls, replacement of floorboards, cleaning, replacement furniture, weeks of drying out. The stress will remain awful. Another tragedy surrounds the damage caused to 90% of Hull's schools - some schools are so badly damaged that they won't be able to function normally again for over a year - floors to be replaced - replastering - redecorating - replacing furniture - thorough cleaning etc..

Chanterlands Avenue, Hull - reflections of the sky mask a more horrible reality.

Hull is England's seventh largest city and yet the national news services largely ignored what was happening there until they were deluged (excuse the pun) with emails and complaints and then they finally allowed Hull's plight to hit the news. For example, it wasn't until Thursday July 4th that the BBC evening news ran a special upon the disaster in Hull. National politicians have been just as dilatory. Our new Primeminister, Gordon Brown, should have been up in Hull and South Yorkshire a day or two after the flooding to show solidarity with and governmental care for beleaguered citizens. Yet I understand his much belated visit will occur today July 7th! Too late Gordon!

Beverley, East Yorkshire - near my mother's residential home.

I thank heavens that our house has not been affected - nor Ian's new house near Sheffield United's ground. Flooding is a terrible thing. Lives have been lost, homes ruined and once again England's north/south divide has been shown in stark and bitter relief.
Addendum: Ms Muddyboots from East Yorkshire correctly ticked me off for failing to refer to the flood damage in outlying East Yorkshire villages. Just one unreported flood-related event happened in the village where I was born and raised. Last year, a small estate of some sixty modern designer homes was completed to the south of the village on somewhat low-lying land and yes - you have guessed it - the land flooded and all sixty homes had to be evacuated after water two feet deep penetrated floors and walls, causing misery and damage. These homes are people's dreams - so much hope and money invested in them - and even when they are sorted out after many months, the memory will remain alongside the fear that it could happen again. Why are builders allowed to build on land liable to flooding? It's crazy.

To support the citizens of Hull - many of the poorest absolutely uninsured - send donations to the Hull Flood Fund (click link)

10 comments:

  1. can you imagine the story of one fifth of London's houses being flooded, as happened in Hull, being relegated to the 'and finally' segment at the end of the news? I don't bloody think so.

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  2. Maybe now all those mums with their gas guzzling 4x4s that take their kids on the school run will actually have some reason for owning them??

    After all they're partly to blame.... it's a marketing dream!!!

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  3. one thing you haven't mentioned is the damage caused to outlying villages & farm land here in the east riding. many are mentioning the fact that drainage channels have not been dredged or kept clean of reeds in order to protect the wildlife, lack of funds is also being blamed. if the drains are clogged up then there is nowhere for the water to drain too. local MP is holding a meeting during the week on a neighbours farm to discuss the flooding. Bloody fat lot of good if you ask me. stop building new house on marsh land, keep the drains clear of muck & blather, stop dredging out in the humber & think about humans habitation not water voles!

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  4. Oh man we have been having tons of rain too. I'm going to try and get down to the dam to take pictures.. there are parks on both sides of the dam.. the easternmost park is totally underwater except for the restrooms, which are up a little hill.. probably for just this reason..

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  5. I hope Hull and surrounds dries off fast - utterly desperate situation for many. But unless G Brown has Moses tendencies, I am not at all sure what his physical presence could have offered - too many memories of bloody Thatcher gritting her teeth at bedsides. Treasury money would be far more welcome.

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  6. I'm horrified by the photos I have seen of Hull under flood water. And totally agree about how it demonstrates the north/south divide.

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  7. Couldn't agree more about the north/south divide. No matter what the context - news or weather, if it ain't happening in the sarf east, it ain't happening. It's the same in Wales. Anything happening in or around Cardiff gets far more coverage that further north. It is also noticeable how many of the properties affected are new(ish) which highlights the fact that so many new properties are being built in totally unsuitable places.

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  8. I think we're all used to being un-newsworthy 'oop 'ere in't'north.' You've only got to look at the snow coverage. Makes us fall about when they show the south of England grinding to a halt under half an inch of snow.
    Truly horrendous for all those affected by the dreadful weather tho'. And why do they allow building on flood plains? having sat through 2 days of planning meetings (yawn yawn) I think I know. I'm going to do a blog about it. (But not tonight)

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  9. Lilly4:52 pm

    about your comment about being allowed to build on low lying lands. i agree - it's crazy. we have that problem here (US), too, despite strict limitations on wetlands interference. seems "waivers" can be granted. and look at those houses on the coasts over here. danger of falling in the sea? No problem, let's just rebuild!!! eh?

    I feel for you all in UK at the moment, with all that bad weather. it's so sad to see all those flooded areas. I hope they get all the help they need to fix everything. do you get government financial help in these situations?

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  10. We had some wretched flooding in Seattle last Fall, but it was a drop in the bucket (pun intended) compared to Sheffield.

    I am relieved that your house wasn't affected, but I feel awful for the people whose houses are ruined.

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