This flooding thing…

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  • This flooding thing…
  • I imagine if the EA start dredging the rivers around Somerset then there’ll be many other communities asking why they’re not doing the same to their waterways. The answer is quite obviously “nae cash” – especially when it’s effectively an endless task.

    Incidentally the coverage on sky news is horrifically presented with absolutely zero scientific knowledge. They’re getting all too Daily Mail for their own good. Anyone would think this is on the same scale as hurricane Katrina.


    He’s upstream of the levels

    Doesn’t feel like it on day 4 of a wet Glasto… 😯

    They’re getting all too Daily Mail for their own good

    I sometimes wonder if the nail->head content of the Daily Mash has forced the mainstream media to up their game to new levels of idiocy.

    Premier Icon footflaps

    A lot of contractors will make money out of the dredging while EA’s plant will sit idle.

    then the flooding will subside as it’s stopped raining and everyone will say, “Look dredging worked.”….

    Premier Icon eddie11

    how did rivers manage before they had people around to dredge them 😕


    According to the Mail the E.A. sold its dredging kit 20 years ago which is before the E.A. actually existed 🙄

    Premier Icon Kona TC

    From the BBC

    Early figures suggest parts of England have had their wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago.

    Statistic to deflect any responsibility…

    Premier Icon dazh

    Why is it whenever anything like this happens the immediate demand of the reactionary idiots is to ‘bring the army in’. Can the army stop it raining?


    The mail is wrong.

    The EA still has a lot of long reach 360’s and some draglines. The EA came about from a merger of 3 organisations National Rivers Authority, Inspectorate of Pollution and the waste regulation authorities.

    I must admit a fair few of the draglines were sold off.

    The coalition will hand out some mops and buckets and tell the flood affected to get on with it themselves and stop expecting the state to help them.

    Why call in the army? So it appears as if they are doing sometging.


    What happens next year if we get a massive plague of locusts decending on middle england? Will the EA get canned for not having enough large nets to catch them, and for having “Underinvested” in locust catching machines for the last few years?

    Sorry, but “sh*t happens”. if you don’t want it to keep happening to you, do something about it yourself, don’t just point the finger and complain that “everyone else has been negligent”……

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Last year our council got slagged for not having enough salt for the roads (after using up a year’s supply in a month because it was Snowy As **** Man. This year… They’re getting slagged for buying too much salt, because it hasn’t snowed.

    Newspaper forecasting is easier than weather forecasting I think.

    Premier Icon davetrave

    What happens next year if we get a massive plague of locusts decending on middle england? Will the EA get canned for not having enough large nets to catch them, and for having “Underinvested” in locust catching machines for the last few years?

    No, the politicians’ll just call us in to deal with that as well, on top of everything else we’re doing. Like making even more people redundant.

    Don’t know what they expect us to be able to do in Somerset really other than provide what lots of others already are, i.e. 4×4 fording capability, we have no high volume pumps and whilst we can fill loads of sandbags it’s a bit late for them now. Seems a bit shutting door, horse, bolted…

    EDIT: In previous postings I’ve had direct experience of the military contribution to dealing with floods – Cumbria, East Anglia/East Coast – and we were called in early enough to be able to do something to at least mitigate against the effects, if not actually stop it raining…


    Hvis det ikke var for oversvømmelser i Somerset Levels ville vi alle være tale dansk.

    Premier Icon kimbers

    It’s hard to know whether dredging would’ve made much difference

    The NRA /EA stopped dredging Somerset 20 years ago
    So it’s an easy argument to make that this has come to a head after these exceptional storms because the rivers weren’t fat flowing enough (anyone have any actual evidence either way)

    Saying that it’s the fault of people living near rivers isn’t really fair if the land has been managed artificially for hundreds of years then you could reasonably expect it to be kept up
    East Anglia being a case in point (much of it is below sea level The sea will reclaim it eventually if maintenance is not kept up
    And rising sea levels probably mean that the job will only get harder

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    In my previous life as a claims manager I’ve had first hand experience of floods, and I feel really sorry for those affected.

    However, it does seem to me that people, egged on by a sensationalist media looking for a great picture, sound bite and fall guy, have got so comfortable with the modern western way of life that they have no grasp of how these events can still occur where they have historically always occurred and how to deal with them when they happen. We’ve just had the wettest January on record, of course some areas will have massive problems as a result.

    Anyone still remember last years lovely summer riding? This is the payback…..

    Premier Icon dropoff

    This may or may not be a contributory factor to the flooding but I find it interesting. I’ve been photographing the Somerset levels for the best part of 30 years and in all that time the only thing to have changed is the industry, there is none now. There used to be various factories harvesting the peat and to do so they used to pump millions of gallons of water off the levels all through the year thereby drying out the peat which is like a huge sponge. The enviromentalists came along and said digging peat was a bad thing and so the digging and so the pumping stopped thereby allowing the moors to fill up with water. Now when we have heavy rains the land can not absorb the water so it needs to get to the sea. However the rivers are now so small that the flow through them is restricted and when the floods coincide with high tides the amount of time that the sea gates can be open for is less.

    Tango Man


    The effects of dredging, a nice easy video.


    We were using wellies to get in and out of the flat for 2 weeks. I can understand people moaning, regardless of choosing to buy somewhere risky. I still felt sorry for the people opposite, who had no power for the same period. The fact that they live on Riverside doesn’t really come into play. Ours floods sometimes because the drainage is inadequate, or maybe broken. This time though, there was a risk that the channel next to us might actually overflow 🙁


    Having said that, was nice feeding ducks from the balcony 🙂

    People who live on the levels expect a bit of flooding from time to time. It was once a flooded marsh and Avalon was an island! It has been a managed wetland for centuries. But if you come here and see how much land is currently submerged you will understand how ridiculous the situation is. I was driving east over the polden and looking south it was like the sea had invaded.

    Yes it’s rained a lot. Not as much as 1910 still. The fact is, the EA have deliberately allowed the volume of the rivers to reduce and thus the water is not draining as quickly as it once could. So now it’s a mismanaged wetland and all the old villages perched on slightly higher ground are cut off and threatened.


    As Buzz says. Some people really don’t have a bloody clue what they’re talking about:

    So we want sterile rivers and land and 1000 cow dairy units.

    Evis should know better, farmer biting the hand that feeds, amazing.
    What utter bollocks.
    The ‘sterile rivers’ are very short stretches that are tidal, so brackish, and they’re 40% full of thick, slimy grey silt and mud, about the only wildlife are mudworms. For many, many years the rivers and rhynes were looked after by locals who knew the whole area intimately, and kept flooding to a minimum, then a government quango was set up that decided it knew better than people who’ve lived there for generations how to manage it, and decided that it would let highly productive farmland return to a salt marsh, to appease the green lobby.
    A huge amount of work has gone into creating the wetlands around Shapwick, Ham Wall, and the other reserves, which has helped by letting it flood, but allowing river flow to be obstructed by mud is irresponsible. It won’t stop flooding, when there’s so much water, but even the dimmest should be able to grasp that letting river beds fill up with crap is going to reduce the amount of water those rivers can carry out to sea.
    Another contributing factor is that a proven method of absorbing heavy rainfall is tree planting on the surrounding hill-tops, but the hill farmers only get their EU grants if they clear the trees and shrubs from the hilltops! Utter, total **** madness, by brainless office drones who have no idea about land management. Planting lots of trees increases absorption of rainfall into the soil by approx 60%, which, along with keeping the lower ends of the rivers and rhynes clear, would keep flooding to a much more controllable level.
    Now, wildlife habitats are being destroyed because of civil servants following dogma set up by people who only know theory, not the actual land that’s affected.
    No, I don’t live on the levels, but I’ve spent a lot of time down there, read lots about their history, and have something approaching a clue as to why this is happening, and why the locals are angry.
    Blaming farmers like Eavis is typical townie rubbish; his farm borders the levels, and his cattle move onto the levels for grazing at various times, and, just like virtually the entire British Isles, the land has to be managed like it has been for thousands of years; there’s virtually nothing resembling a natural landscape in Britain, except for a few national parks, and remote parts of Scotland.


    I’ve lived near the Somerset levels all of my life and there has always been areas of flooding (the road the boat was travelling along is none too flood but this is the first time I’ve seen it more than 18″ deep.

    The levels itself is largely below sea level, the rivers are one issue but then so are the ditches that surround the vast majority of the fields on the levels. Both require cleaning. As a child I remember helping a friends dad to clear some of the ditches in the spring time each year. Doesn’t seem to happen anymore. A friends dad has farmed on the levels near Stathe for three generations (he’s now in his 60s) and has never seen the water this deep before and noted it’s now been at least 25 year since they’ve dredged that area of the river although they have reinforced the river bank with steel piles 15ish years ago.

    On a seperate note bbc points west had an article on the new pontoon that’s been put in place.. The presenter commented on the smell.. Guess he didn’t notice the huge abattoir to the left of the camera shot lol.

    The dredging video above is spot on and I only wish more people would watch such things before offering their unqualified opinion, particularly certain MPs. Draining peat is about the worst thing you can do in these places. Drained peat degrades releasing C02 in to the atmosphere as it goes, adding to Climate Change, increasing by retention, the available energy in the atmosphere, meaning rain events like this become more common.
    When peat degrades, it loses its water absorbing capacity, meaning you get water between interstigial spaces between the peat particles only and not locked in the complex matrix of hummified organic matter. So, there is good reason to not drain peat, not least the increased water storing capacity of ‘good’ peat, when antecedent conditions allow it.
    Also harvesting the peat lowers the height of the land, meaning it is closer to sea level, meaning the gradient reduces further for the water to drain to the sea. The degradation of peat due to exposure to air (the net effect of drainage) also causes the land level to drop. All the while the rivers are perched above the surrounding flood plain so when they over top, the water has to find a new way to sea, slowly.
    It’s a pickle for those that live there, but sometimes difficult decisions have to be made. Lose a few carrot fields to water every few years, or a few offices, homes or factories because the money to protect the towns was spent protecting some fields?

    worst ive seen it in 25 years of living nearby……its like another estuary from Weston Super Mare

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