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People also forget that the Asian countries that flood hundreds of thousands and receive millions of pounds in aid from us, they have a government which funds billion pound space projects. Ahem!

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BW and now CRT have auctioned off most of their useful equipment in the last 3 years and now outsource almost all maintenance/dredging and vegetation work. In the past, when a tree blocked the canal, BW were there in a few hours with chainsaws and ropes to clear. Now when you report them, next day at the earliest is when a contractor turns up.Most liveaboard canal boaters now have their own chainsaws to do the job before the contractors arrive.
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Sorry I find comments like this really annoying.  Equating a picture of one flooded house/business with the devastating floods in another country is shocking. When we have 1000's dead, 10,000's homes destroyed, 100,000's homeless, outbreaks of cholera, no fire brigade, no RNLI, no SAR, no council emergency shelters, etc, etc. then maybe, just maybe you can bemoan the lack of international assistance. The flooding is tragic for those affected, but really people need to wind their sense of perspective back a little.

I couldn't agree more. Although there are some notable cases where aid donations should be looked at with a very serious eye - India, Pakistan, Nigeria to name but three) there is no-one in this country that has to experience poverty and deprivation on anywhere near a scale experienced in the 3rd world. I suggest people go and visit a 3rd world country decimated by a natural disaster, BEFORE they start making comparisons.We should not be viewing this as an "either or" situation, as an economy we are rich enough to do both foreign aid and look after ourselves better. Don't penalise those who have nothing because we can't budget properly. Edited by Nick.F
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Totally agree with above comments. Most homeowners in this country can afford a degree of home insurance. Even those who own a home but don't have insurance have an asset of kinds and won't have to starve indefinately. To compare people who live in relative luxury in the UK to those who live in utter poverty in the developing world suggests a narrow-sightedness bordering on utter ignorance. 

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Sorry I find comments like this really annoying.  Equating a picture of one flooded house/business with the devastating floods in another country is shocking.

 

When we have 1000's dead, 10,000's homes destroyed, 100,000's homeless, outbreaks of cholera, no fire brigade, no RNLI, no SAR, no council emergency shelters, etc, etc. then maybe, just maybe you can bemoan the lack of international assistance.

 

The flooding is tragic for those affected, but really people need to wind their sense of perspective back a little.

 

 

I wasn’t seeking to pronounce on the state of the nation’s finances or suggesting that we robbed Peter to pay Paul, the post I made was written while I was watching Cameron on the TV, declaring that we are now a wealthy country and money is no object…I was immediately struck by the sharp contrast with the message the Government gives when it wants to remove support from those who need it most in our own country.

 

Flooding is one thing, politics is another, I’m sure there are different pots of money for different things but it’s certainly taken it’s time to get help from the army etc to those who need it and I can understand the frustration of some of the people who have been flooded.

 

There is no doubt that people have been  and are still suffering enormously here, every time I see some news my heart goes out all those whose homes are ravaged by dirty sewage-contaminated water and/or destructive winds. This will have a major impact on their lives and the ability of many to pick up and start again, so whilst not on the scale of a famine or a plague in a country miles away to me it is a disaster of growing proportions on my own doorstep and deserves to be treated as such.

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We all knew that the ‘run-on’ from our departure would be that the EA/Levels Boards needed to take over pumping, they couldn’t afford our old system as it was very old and on restricted land.I should explain at this point that the ONLY pumping done was ours, we could and did pump no matter the tides, we’d taken over the responsibility/control in 1940 for all high volume pumping on the Levels.We advised that the Huntspill be automated and the Kings Sedgemoor Drain be pumped and made strong representation to that effect.But every meeting with the EA ended in frustration as they never sent a single seriously knowledgeable Drainage Engineer to any meeting. The Levels Boards understood the issues and tried to get the pumps installed.It didn’t happen.

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Offers of help for the Somerset Levels from the Dutch were turned down by the Government just last weekend, according to a report by Channel 4 News this evening.

The programme revealed that Dutch emergency flood relief had been turned down because British authorities said it was not needed.

Several Dutch authorities involved with the talks last Sunday told Channel 4 journalists that concrete offers of material aid were declined.

“We told the British government that we would help in any way we could,†said Ursula Meering, spokeswoman of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

“We told the British government that we had pumps, emergency dykes and sand bag-filling machines available, but they said there was no need for any of this help at present. They said they only needed expertise, so we have sent a team of four dyke experts to the UK.â€

A Defra spokesperson told Channel 4 News: “We are grateful for the support from the Dutch government – so far we have borrowed eight very high volume pumps and have several Dutch engineers assisting us in Somerset. We will continue to discuss our needs with the Netherlands and other EU partners.â€

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Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Government-turned-offers-help-Dutch-flooded/story-20632063-detail/story.html#ixzz2tQdeoAei

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Offers of help for the Somerset Levels from the Dutch were turned down by the Government just last weekend, according to a report by Channel 4 News this evening.

The programme revealed that Dutch emergency flood relief had been turned down because British authorities said it was not needed.

Several Dutch authorities involved with the talks last Sunday told Channel 4 journalists that concrete offers of material aid were declined.

“We told the British government that we would help in any way we could,†said Ursula Meering, spokeswoman of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

“We told the British government that we had pumps, emergency dykes and sand bag-filling machines available, but they said there was no need for any of this help at present. They said they only needed expertise, so we have sent a team of four dyke experts to the UK.â€

A Defra spokesperson told Channel 4 News: “We are grateful for the support from the Dutch government – so far we have borrowed eight very high volume pumps and have several Dutch engineers assisting us in Somerset. We will continue to discuss our needs with the Netherlands and other EU partners.â€

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Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Government-turned-offers-help-Dutch-flooded/story-20632063-detail/story.html#ixzz2tQdeoAei

WHAT!? If this is true, what the hell were the government thinking!?

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Weather: Storm Respite But Flood Threat Remains

 

David Cameron has warned that the flooding crisis in the UK is likely to get worse after weeks of winter storms and heavy rain. The Prime Minister said while the weather was due to improve, the sheer volume of rain over recent weeks means groundwater levels will continue to rise in many places. The comments come as energy firms struggled to reconnect tens of thousands of homes after the latest strong winds and downpours. Three people have been killed in stormy weather since Friday.

 

An elderly passenger on a cruise ship in the English Channel was named on Sunday as James Swinstead, from Colchester. Others who died were minicab driver Julie Sillitoe whose car was hit by falling masonry in London and a 65-year-old man in West Cork, Ireland, who was hit by a pole while repairing damage for a phone company. The severe Valentine's Day winds left a trail of destruction, with the South - particularly along the coast - worst hit as strong winds brought down hundreds of trees and damaged power lines.

 

Many faced travel disruption as rail lines and roads were closed following gusts topping 80mph. Diners had to be rescued from a seafront restaurant in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, after a shingle and rocks blown by the wind smashed windows. Despite forecasts predicting an "improving picture", with lighter winds and less rain, the Environment Agency (EA) said parts of southern, south-west and central England remain at risk of flooding.

 

One picture released by the EA in the aftermath of the storms shows a massive landslip in Weymouth, Dorset. The EA has issued 16 severe flood warnings - mostly in the Southeast - and nearly 150 lesser flood warnings across the UK. Mr Cameron, who visited flood-hit Chertsey in Surrey before chairing the Government's emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday evening, said the next 24 hours would be "vital" as river levels rise again.

 

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He said: "Thankfully, it does appear that we will see less rain and wind over the next few days. "However, after so much rain over recent weeks, groundwater levels remain very high and in many places will continue to rise." The EA said on Saturday the Thames Barrier had been closed for a record 16th consecutive time to help lower river levels. Paul Leinster, chief executive of the EA, said: "We continue to see the very real and devastating impacts that flooding can have on communities and business.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1212294/weather-storm-respite-but-flood-threat-remains

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Tomorrow is looking pretty wet across the SW again with stalling heavy pulses of rain, another inch or more in places, not surprised the Met Office have a warning out

 

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Another spell of wet and rather windy weather is expected across southwest England during Monday. Rainfall totals of 10 to 15 mm seem likely quite widely and perhaps 30 to 40 mm locally, mainly over high ground in the west of the warning area.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/#?tab=warnings&map=Warnings&zoom=5&lon=0&lat=53.50&fcTime=1392595200&regionName=sw

 

More heavy rain moving in Wednesday night

 

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Strange - our local news were showing the Dutch there earlier this week.

Anyway, if people are going to continue to live on the Levels then an urgent flood 'defence' programme needs to be put into place, once the floodwaters have subsided (prob a couple of months away i guess), using Dutch expertise i reckon, to ensure floods in the future can be controlled more.

And the local authorities should NOT allow any more new dwellings to be built....ever.

The villages affected are actually few and far between.

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Somerset Levels river dredging 'to start in March'

 

River dredging on the Somerset Levels will begin next month "as soon as it is safe and practical to do so", the Environment Agency has said. The work will take place on five miles (8km) of river channel where the Tone and Parrett meet at Burrowbridge. Dredging equipment will also be deployed on a 200m section of the River Parrett north of Coates Farm. The agency said these are "key stretches" of waterway specifically identified by local people. It claimed the proposal provides the greatest chance of reducing future flooding and is the "full dredge" requested by residents.

 

The work is expected to start before the end of March, provided water levels drop and the land is dry enough to support the equipment required. Floods Minister Dan Rogerson said: "Today marks a crucial step forwards in ensuring local communities around the Somerset Levels are better protected from the devastating impact of floods. "We know those affected are tired and fed up but I can assure them we are working around the clock to clear the flood water so they can get on with their lives."

 

An official planning notice states the agency is proposing to dredge approximately two miles (3.5km) between Curload and Burrowbridge on the River Tone. On the River Parrett, work will take place on a three-mile section (4.5km) between Burrowbridge and Andersea. The scheme will involve the dredging of the channel and methods would include excavation from the bank.

 

Paul Leinster, chief executive at the Environment Agency, said: "We plan to start dredging by the end of March, as long as the contractors deem it is safe to do so. "We are committed to dredging as part of a broader package of work to protect people, property and land in Somerset." Dredging is one of a range of actions to be set out in a 20-year plan commissioned by Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson and due to be presented in the coming weeks.

 

Bryony Sadler, from the Flooding on the Levels Action Group said the news was "the right step forward". "It can only be positive, it is a great step forward and something we have been pushing for for such a long time...so anything positive is just a great step in our eyes," she said. "It is just to make sure that whoever is doing it does a good job and to the standard that we all want. It can't just be pinch-point dredging, it can't be just take a little bit out, it has to be a good full dredge."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-26270501

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http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84737devastating evidence has now come to light not just that the floods covering 65 square miles of the Somerset Levels could have been prevented; they were deliberately engineered by the Labour Government in 2009, knowingly regardless of the property and human rights of the thousands of people whose homes and livelihoods would be affected.

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Guy Smith, insightful as ever. 

 

 

Like many households, the Smith abode gets run on a gender divide of pink jobs and blue jobs.For example, Mrs Smith tends to do most of the cooking and Mr Smith is in charge of the drains. That’s where the trouble starts. Mrs Smith feels the drains aren’t cleaned regularly enough and Mr Smith feels if less “gubbins†(as he calls it) was tipped down the sink the drains would need less cleaning. This usually leads to a bit of a stand-off while fetid water hangs around in the kitchen sink until Mr Smith gets the drain rods out to clear the gubbins out of the system. But recently I’ve tried a new argument I learned from the Environment Agency. I explained to Mrs Smith that the build-up of fetid water in her sink wasn’t really due to the gubbins in the drains but rather it was due to her turning the taps on so often. I also suggested that rather than ask me to clean the drains out, it would be better to try to keep all the fetid water in pots and pans around the draining board. This led to aforesaid pots and pans being thrown at me while I was trying to read the paper.When it comes to draining excess water away from villages and farmland, I will confess I’m no engineer, but here’s the thing – nor are some of the people in the Environment Agency. Take Lord Smith of Finsbury, chairman of the Environment Agency. He studied English at University and did his PhD in the poetry of Coleridge and Wordsworth. Now call me old-fashioned, but when I’ve got a problem with a ditch, I tend to call in a bloke with a digger rather than ask someone to write a couple of stanzas in praise of the ditch.But obviously the chairman isn’t the be-and-end-all - the chief executive is equally important. To his credit, Paul Leinster is an environmental engineer, but the person he took over from, Barbara Young, was not. Barbara Young was CEO at the EA for the eight years, from 2000-2008, and before that she was CEO of the RSPB. The phrase “who put the fox in charge of the chicken coop†comes to mind, as does the observation “you can take the bird out of the RSPB, but you can’t take the RSPB out of the birdâ€.The fact the EA stopped routinely dredging rivers such as the Parrett and the Tone around the time of the millennium has to be noted. The other thing that should be noted is that both Lord Smith and Barbara Young had close connections with the Labour Party, which was in power at the time of their appointments.But enough of the past. To be fair to the RSPB, it is a much-improved organisation. It now acknowledges we must return to dredging rivers such as the Parrett and the Tone. It even sees the sense in having good sea walls for flood protection now that the sea has punched holes in the walls that protect various bird reserves on the East Anglian coast. This is quite a contrast to its old policy of deliberately punching holes in sea walls such as the one that used to protect Wallasea Island in Essex.If there was one thing I would like to see come out of the flooding crises of 2013-14, it would be a return to a proper regard for engineers and engineering. Let’s put the political rhubarb behind us and get ourselves properly defended from flooding.

 

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http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84737devastating evidence has now come to light not just that the floods covering 65 square miles of the Somerset Levels could have been prevented; they were deliberately engineered by the Labour Government in 2009, knowingly regardless of the property and human rights of the thousands of people whose homes and livelihoods would be affected.

I missed something I thought the Tories were in charge right now. It sounds like the error was pre flooding some of the natural drainage where the flood water would have naturally gone. This would probably have reduced the flooding though but nor prevented it. 

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I missed something I thought the Tories were in charge right now. It sounds like the error was pre flooding some of the natural drainage where the flood water would have naturally gone. This would probably have reduced the flooding though but nor prevented it. 

Indeed, politics aside this is a problem that has grown over the last couple of decades I would say.

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Indeed Jax, politics gets in the way of effective nature conservation practice as it does in the case of providing flood protection in the exceptional circumstances we now find ourselves in. These folk whom bang the drum and tell the people in charge what should and shouldn't be done aren't really in the real world, in my view. The rainfall amounts have been the wettest since 1766 according to some sources and the human population then was minimal compared to now, what we did have back then though, was a better working environment/ecosystem which benefitted nature and human beings. I don't think political point-scoring truly works when facing up to climate change and other difficult issues. For one thing, where does anyone put trillions and trillions of tonnes of water, which equates to something like 1/2 metre when it falls from the skies and continues to as I type, in something like, nigh on 70 days, even Noah's Ark may have struggled containing all that.

Edited by gottolovethisweather
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So this is how it is to be eh?

 

No matter how severe or extreme our weather becomes it'll all go back to party politics and slagging those who were in power before?

 

Our 2012 floods were 70cm above the last record flood levels. Those floods were before the massive 'flood alleviation' programme was implemented. There was nothing wrong with that work it was the 'event' , and the stuck weather we saw leading up to the 'event' , that was too blame.

 

Extreme weather events are all our problem, we appear to be discovering that we ALL had a hand in them ( unless you want to start blaming the industrialists for knowingly polluting to help maximise their profit margins?), let's ALL deal with them together and enough with this 'apportioning the blame'! 

 

When the boat is sinking you would be foolish to sit around and debate whose fault it was, you bail and keep floating!!!

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Nothing like ignoring reality of neglected manmade channels means flooding sooner and worse.No one says the flooding would not have happened, but trying to imply it would be just as bad if they hadn't practically stopped the maintenance which has been done for centuries is plain stupid. 

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