Case Study- Flooding in HIC- Cumbria-2009

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  • Created by: F.Brash
  • Created on: 21-04-19 12:32
Location and population of Cockermouth
Town in Cumbria- NW of UK. Population of 7,877
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Name of rivers it is located at
River Derwent and River Cocker
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Date of flood
Nov 9th 2009
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Rainfall Statistics
31cm rainfall in 24 hours (UK record) and heavy rainfall for 4 days
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Cause/type of rainfall
Warm air from the Atlantic, pushed up over Cumbrian mountains= relief rainfall
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Physical causes of flooding
Prolonged heavy rainfall, located at confluence of rivers, steep slopes, thin soil, lack of vegetation
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Human causes of flooding
Urbanisation (impermeable surfaces), blocked sewers, lack of dredging
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Human impacts: Deaths, houses, businesses, cost of damage, cost to govt.
1 death, 50 helicopter evacuated, 1,300 houses flooded, 3,000 businesses affected, 28,000GBP cost per household, 100 million GBP insurance claims
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Environmental impacts: Rivers, farmland, roads
Erosion in rivers/sediment change, farmland ruined by silt/sand, 4 bridges destroyed- 25 closed for 6 weeks
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Short-term response
Rescue teams sent in, helicopter evacuation, temporary railway station, temporary bridge
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long-term response
12 month recovery of infrastructure, most businesses re-opened, tourism back, 20 bridges opened, farmers got govt. funds to remove silt off farmland
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Soft engineering
land-use zoning, improved forecasts and warnings
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Hard engineering
Flood Defence Scheme implemented by environmental agency.
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Main aspects of the flood defence scheme and why
River dredging (capacity), 49km of flood walls in total, self-raising flood walls (raise further 0.5m when triggered)
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Benefits/costs of scheme
Cost: 4.4 Million GBP, Self raising walls= no visual pollution or need for human attention. Dredging moves flooding downstream.
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Work with the local community and cockermouth flood action group to decide on strategies to implement. Aim to reduce risk to 360 homes and 55 businesses
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Very good short term and 12 month response, good defences set up. BUT, record rainfall event in 2015= bad flooding, most defences breached
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HIC so good response and lots of funding, but still flooded so clearly defences not good enough. Prone to flooding due to confluence of rivers. Is climate change making 1/100 year rainfall events more common= out of our hands?
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Name of rivers it is located at


River Derwent and River Cocker

Card 3


Date of flood


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Rainfall Statistics


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Cause/type of rainfall


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