Articles on Floods

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Chertsey: never have so many, owed so much, to one sausage. Ki Price/PA

Beyond sandbags – how to defend your house from flooding

For much of the 20th century, faith has rested in bigger and better defences to hold back floodwaters. But repeated flooding has shown that large defences cannot, and should not, be the sole focus. The…
‘Don’t worry, I’ve got hold of the plug.’ Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Upstream must work with downstream to fix flooding

With much of the UK still underwater and flooding set to continue, knee jerk reactions abound. Politicians bicker, flooded communities and farmers lobby their causes and calls are made to dredge rivers…
More of this to come. Steve Parsons/PA Archive

Get used to flooding, climate change will bring more of it

Flooding continues to afflict many parts of southern Britain. Areas of the Somerset Levels have been submerged for weeks, large parts of the Thames Valley are under water and the River Severn is bursting…
The future is wet, so what are we going to do about it? Tim Ireland/PA

Dredging and drilling are both recipes for disaster

The United Kingdom stands at a crossroads. In the coming months decisions will be made that will largely determine whether the union continues in something like its current state, or whether the people…
Sometimes the choice is to flood town or country. Sometimes it’s both. Ben Birchall/PA

Total flood defence is a myth: we must learn to live with the water

Floods happen. Rivers have always inundated their floodplains and the sea has always tried to reclaim land that has been taken from it. This is certainly true in Somerset, whose name derives from the Old…
The east coast of England in 1953. PA

Are storm surges getting worse?

Brigid, another Atlantic storm, has hit Britain with heavy rain and gale-force winds, especially the already sodden west coast. The last few months have seen very wild weather, including 100mph winds during…
Role reversal: a river of land in fields of water. Tim Ireland/PA

The inconvenient truth: houses built on floodplains could flood

Ministers should be applauded for recognising that there’s simply no way we could tell the thousands of key workers and low income families, desperate for a decent home, that we can’t build any more new…
More appealing and often more effective than concrete flood barriers. John Haynes

Restore our meadows, a most cost-effective flood defence

For the second winter running the UK has been hit by widespread flooding, accompanied by agonised debates over whether government is really committed to adequate spending on flood defence. Largely overlooked…
Swings and roundabouts: sea level rises are hard to predict. Danny Lawson/PA

Saving coastlines from flooding is an uncertain science

Coastal and river flooding struck Britain again this week with huge waves hitting southern and western coasts and around 100 flood warnings still in place by Wednesday evening. Disturbing but, sadly, not…
Tacloban City in the Philippines. Troclaire

2013: the year in extreme weather

It seems every year has seen weather extremes in recent times. After 2012 brought Hurricane Sandy to the east coast of the United States and the wettest year ever for England, many may have expected a…
Is the government’s scheme already in deep water? Steve Parsons/PA

Government flood insurance plan is already treading water

The government’s long-awaited plans on how to help the insurance industry provide flood insurance to those homes and properties most at risk was presented. They are promising, but have fundamental shortcomings…
Firefighters have plenty of ideas about disaster management - so why don’t we listen? AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What firefighters say about climate change

You do not find many climate change sceptics on the end of [fire] hoses anymore… They are dealing with increasing numbers of fires, increasing rainfall events, increasing storm events. – A senior Victorian…

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