SHallowvale
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26106290

There are many things that may have prolonged/worsened/contributed to these floods (in comparison to the floods experienced decades ago):

- increased rainfall
- gradual urbanisation
- deforestation
- changes to the river upstream/downstream
- g̶a̶y̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶r̶i̶a̶g̶e̶

To blame all of that flooding on dredging alone (or, infact, the lack there thereof) signals only a lack of understanding of the causes of flooding. Or have I missed something?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26106290

There are many things that may have prolonged/worsened/contributed to these floods (in comparison to the floods experienced decades ago):

- increased rainfall
- gradual urbanisation
- deforestation
- changes to the river upstream/downstream
- g̶a̶y̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶r̶i̶a̶g̶e̶

To blame all of that flooding on dredging alone (or, infact, the lack there thereof) signals only a lack of understanding of the causes of flooding. Or have I missed something?
Yes you have missed something. That floods may have a variety of causes does not mean any particular flood has a variety of causes.

If one takes the Somerset Levels, the amount of rainfall that has fallen this year is not disproportionate to other wet years.

The water on the Levels is due to what has fallen from the sky not urban run off.

There has been no noticeable change to levels of forestation in the area which has been minimal for centuries.

Again there have been no major changes upstream or downstream on the rivers affecting the areas other than gradual silting up. This is a man made and not a natural landscape.

However, the flooding may well be due in part to gay marriage since during the time as the head of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith's civil partnership has fallen apart and ended in a "divorce". A matrimonial breakup can often mean that someone's attention is not fully focused on their work.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Yes you have missed something. That floods may have a variety of causes does not mean any particular flood has a variety of causes.

If one takes the Somerset Levels, the amount of rainfall that has fallen this year is not disproportionate to other wet years.

The water on the Levels is due to what has fallen from the sky not urban run off.

There has been no noticeable change to levels of forestation in the area which has been minimal for centuries.

Again there have been no major changes upstream or downstream on the rivers affecting the areas other than gradual silting up. This is a man made and not a natural landscape.

However, the flooding may well be due in part to gay marriage since during the time as the head of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith's civil partnership has fallen apart and ended in a "divorce". A matrimonial breakup can often mean that someone's attention is not fully focused on their work.
Source?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Source?
Winter 1986/7, 2002/3

http://data.gov.uk/data/resource_cac...viltondata.txt

January 2014 is the record single months rainfall at 230mm
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Winter 1986/7, 2002/3

http://data.gov.uk/data/resource_cac...viltondata.txt

January 2014 is the record single months rainfall at 230mm
Thank you. You're likely to be right, it indeed seems that dredging would have mitigated much of the flooding.

However, I have a new question: why is it that Somerset flooded frequently in the 1990s, even though the rivers involved were dredged and that rainfall was no greater than it has been for decades?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Thank you. You're likely to be right, it indeed seems that dredging would have mitigated much of the flooding.

However, I have a new question: why is it that Somerset flooded frequently in the 1990s, even though the rivers involved were dredged and that rainfall was no greater than it has been for decades?
There always have been floods and frankly there always will be floods. That is the combination of peat, clay and water. Drainage is about getting the water that collects off the land as quickly as possible and before more arrives. The drainage isn't natural; water is pumped into the drains. What has happened is that the carrying capacity of the main drains has been reduced due to silting. Once those drains are bank full, you can't pump any more into them and therefore the land and the smaller drains become a duck pond. That is what has put historic village cores under water.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
There always have been floods and frankly there always will be floods. That is the combination of peat, clay and water. Drainage is about getting the water that collects off the land as quickly as possible and before more arrives. The drainage isn't natural; water is pumped into the drains. What has happened is that the carrying capacity of the main drains has been reduced due to silting. Once those drains are bank full, you can't pump any more into them and therefore the land and the smaller drains become a duck pond. That is what has put historic village cores under water.
When you said that it wasn't a record rainfall in the Levels, were you talking about the Levels themselves? Presumably much of the flood water comes from the broader catchment. I thought the media were saying that SW England had recorded a record rainfall month generally?

The rivers have not been dredged due to government cuts on the Environment Agency budget and a new set of Treasury rules insisting on an 8-to-1 cash return for any anti-flood measures. These policies were voted for by the local Tory MP who just accused Smith of being a 'git' and someone whose head he would like to 'flush down a toilet', the latter presumably being a public threat reportable to the police.
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Fullofsurprises
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It's nice to see Nick Clegg in action this morning, representing the government in Somerset.

I suppose they couldn't send Pickles, as his arrival might have caused additional flooding.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by nulli tertius)

However, the flooding may well be due in part to gay marriage since during the time as the head of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith's civil partnership has fallen apart and ended in a "divorce". A matrimonial breakup can often mean that someone's attention is not fully focused on their work.
Did you intend this bit as a joke? :eek: And if serious, I wonder how many politicians, not least senior Tory politicians, have been deeply distracted of late by affairs with parliamentary assistants, etc?
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Rakas21
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People build on flood plain below the height of the river.. river floods.. shocking!

While measures must be taken to prevent current villages being flooded the truth is i have little sympathy for people who buy houses near rivers.
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Guy Secretan
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It is mostly down to the record amount of rainfall in my view.
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Snagprophet
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Hmm. We shouldn't be building on floodplains because that is retarded. However it seems that some of these places are now floodplains because of the lack of dredging?
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Snagprophet)
Hmm. We shouldn't be building on floodplains because that is retarded. However it seems that some of these places are now floodplains because of the lack of dredging?
The Somerset Levels have been subject to flooding since time immemorial. King Alfred was able to stay safe from the Danish army by hiding on an island in the middle of them all winter, they never found him.

The idea that they could be widely farmed and have many new houses built on them is a modern invention and the result of intensive flood management and a lack of the sort of level of rains we are now seeing.

The cost being dumped on the taxpayer to keep a few farmers doing intensive agriculture and some quite well off people living in country areas is huge and will grow even huger if the government don't get a grip and stop pandering to these local, sectional and very vocal interests, many of them Tory voters.

This is the line the Environment Agency are taking, because they've been forced to by government cuts - the Tories really can't have it both ways. They need to start being honest about this and stop using it to grab easy soundbites and 'keep everyone happy' at unacceptable levels of expenditure.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Did you intend this bit as a joke? :eek: And if serious, I wonder how many politicians, not least senior Tory politicians, have been deeply distracted of late by affairs with parliamentary assistants, etc?


If you look at the poster to whom I was replying, he had written a list of causes of flooding including gay marriage which he then struck through. This was a humorous reference to UKIP Councillor David Silvester.

Having dismissed all of the poster's other causes of the flooding (seriously) I went on to say that gay marriage was a cause of flooding because of Lord Smith's domestic difficulties (and then I ended with a smiley that should have given the game away).
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
When you said that it wasn't a record rainfall in the Levels, were you talking about the Levels themselves? Presumably much of the flood water comes from the broader catchment. I thought the media were saying that SW England had recorded a record rainfall month generally?
I didn't say it wasn't a record rainfall. Indeed the stats I quoted showed that it was. What I said was that the amount of rainfall wasn't disproportionate to other wet years.


The rivers have not been dredged due to government cuts on the Environment Agency budget
It isn't quite as simple as that. Financial cutbacks play a part but they aren't the present government's cutbacks but those of earlier governments. I accept the present government cutbacks are real but they aren't the cause of the Somerset problems. However, abandonment of dredging wasn't only a cost-saving measure, it was EA policy.
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Are you Shaw?
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(Original post by Dumachi)
why have you put gay marriage there lol
we all mocked him, none of us knew how foolish we would feel after...
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26106290

There are many things that may have prolonged/worsened/contributed to these floods (in comparison to the floods experienced decades ago):

- increased rainfall
- gradual urbanisation
- deforestation
- changes to the river upstream/downstream
- g̶a̶y̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶r̶i̶a̶g̶e̶

To blame all of that flooding on dredging alone (or, infact, the lack there thereof) signals only a lack of understanding of the causes of flooding. Or have I missed something?
Building on flood plains.

Combination of rain and high spring tides.

Normally occurring events being shown in the media as abnormal.
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InnerTemple
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Normally occurring events being shown in the media as abnormal.
  • Unprecedented storms over Christmas.
  • Wettest January in the South since records began.
  • Highest waves recorded.
  • Thames reaching the highest levels recorded since measuring devices installed.
  • Rescue crews reporting that they have never seen water levels so high.

Yup, seems just like a normal winter to me.

In reality this is poorly located developments, poorly maintained flood defences and the effects of climate change.
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Luketreherne
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(Original post by InnerTemple)
  • Unprecedented storms over Christmas.
  • Wettest January in the South since records began.
  • Highest waves recorded.
  • Thames reaching the highest levels recorded since measuring devices installed.
  • Rescue crews reporting that they have never seen water levels so high.

Yup, seems just like a normal winter to me.

In reality this is poorly located developments, poorly maintained flood defences and the effects of climate change.
Although i do heavily sympathise with those affecting by the recent flooding , i believe there needs be more events like this over a period of years because this may just be a anomaly before we can jump to conclusions to whether the recent spout of bad weather is caused by that of climate change.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by InnerTemple)
  • Unprecedented storms over Christmas.
  • Wettest January in the South since records began.
  • Highest waves recorded.
  • Thames reaching the highest levels recorded since measuring devices installed.
  • Rescue crews reporting that they have never seen water levels so high.



Yup, seems just like a normal winter to me.

In reality this is poorly located developments, poorly maintained flood defences and the effects of climate change.
Unprecedented storms over Christmas, well for two decades at least.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...st-two-decades

Wettest January in the south since records began. Not quite.

http://data.gov.uk/data/resource_cac...viltondata.txt

Highest waves recorded. Possibly. One off waves however are freaks.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_wave

Level of the Thames. Since measurement devices were installed in 1980.

Rescue crews saying they'd never seen it so bad. - drive through Tewksbury the other day and they're saying the same. A look at the landscape shows natural levies in the ground that indicate its been worse before.

Bad? Yes.

Can things be done to minimise the risk again? Yes.

Doom and gloom? Could be worse.
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