Just wanted to say I feel very sorry for the people in the south west of England who are going through hell because of the flooding. It has gone on far to long. The UK government must take a lot of resposibility for the situation, I know they can't help the weather but surely it is time to spend money on the flood defences. My son did town planning at university and he said houses should never have been built on flood planes.It is obvious that more money has to be spent on flood defences better late than never.
Flood defences have made a lot of difference in some areas outside Worcester. Upton Upon Severn, which is in Worcestershire, has floods, but the situation would have been much worse in times gone by. A few years ago, after a number of incidents of very severe flooding, defences were built. The town is now protected from the worst the weather can do. That doesn't help people who have flooded of course, but it is something. The problem with flood defences is that water they hold back in some places has to go somewhere else. Unfortunately it doesn't just disappear.
The big problem in the UK, both in Somerset and other areas, including here in Worcester, is that rivers are no longer regularly dredged. All the silt and rubbish in the rivers, both naturally occurring rubbish and rubbish of the not so natural variety, ends up building up, so when we have heavy rain the water levels rise, leading to floods. Dredging the rivers would make a difference.
The environment agency has been heavily criticised for their response to the floods, and rightly so in many areas, but the government needs to hold up its hand as well. Cutting budgets that could have been used for dredging etc strikes me as monumentally stupid.
Building on flood planes is part of the problem too, but people need places to live, so that is a tough balance.
Worcester has loads of closed roads today due to flooding. Many parts of the city have endured bedlam as people try to go about their business. The main bridge in and out of the city, which is just down the road from me, a five minute walk, was closed yesterday lunchtime. It's partially open now, but where you would normally have two lanes of traffic on both sides, you now currently have two on one side, one going in to the city, one going out. The bridge might end up being closed again if we have the heavy rain anticipated this week.