flooding occurs in most places in the world; in the UK over the past few years we have seen devastating floods. flooding can have many different types of effects on people and their living environment, and as each flood disaster occurs, a response occurs to try to improve things for the victims as well as to try to reduce the extremity of the effects of a future flood along with trying to prevent flooding in the first place.
In December 2012, many areas of the country experienced some of the worst flooding we have ever seen, many areas had flood warnings and some even had a severe flood warning. the latter applied to the town of Helston in Cornwall, which was the first area in the country to be given a severe flood warning, which meant that flooding could potentially endanger life.
The river Cober that runs through the lower section of the town, which contains many houses located on a flood plain, rose to 2.14 metres on December 22nd 2012, which is well over the normal level of the river which is usually around 50 cm in depth. this caused extensive flooding to homes on the floodplain near the river and disrupted transport as roads leading into the town were blocked by emergency fire engine crews who were pumping water out of the effected streets to prevent the flooding from getting worse. overall 120 homes were flooded and as the streets were flooded many cars had to be abandoned. A high volume of emergency calls were received which meant that only the calls of highest priority could be answered.
Overall the fire crews pumped 8,000 litres of water from the streets and a further three pumps had to be installed in the mouth of the Cober at Loe Pool in order to try to prevent the water reaching the pool from backing up into the town. Residents who were effected by the flooding were able to seek shelter in a rescue centre that was set up in the town to help those displaced by the flooding, this was a welcome comfort to the 200 residents who were evacuated from their homes at 3 am by police officers. further support came from the Helston based charity shelter box that provided blankets to those evacuated from their homes as well as from the towns farmers market which donated food to the residents. also for those whose home’s were worst effected, temporary accommodation was provided until their homes were fit enough to live in again.
This flooding in Helston has prompted further flood management in terms of channel maintenance, which is only carried out where it is essential to control flood risks. also there has been investigation of links between land management practices, run off and flood risk, which has resulted in land management schemes to be considered to reduce flood risk in the future.
There are many examples of flood disasters all around the world and many which have been far worse than this example, but I felt I should write about this example as it happened in my town. the pictures in the gallery were taken by me on those days. this event also was one of the reasons why my interest in rivers and flooding has grown.
- my own experience (the photos of the flooding were taken by me)
- information on the Helston floods sourced from http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10124981.Helston_floods___LIVE/
- information on the Cober flood river levels sourced from http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/riverstation.aspx?StationId=3338&RegionId=5&AreaId=10&CatchmentId=21
- Flood Preparedness Week – Be Aware, Be Prepared, Take Action! (caloesnewsroom.wordpress.com)
- China says flooding has killed 337 this year (bigstory.ap.org)
- Major disaster: Floods (reginayflorence.wordpress.com)