November 23, 2009barriehol
Taking my constitutional this morning I was struck by how unseasonably warm it was despite the gale force winds. This time last year we had already seen the first snows of winter and if my memory recalls things went downhill from there with ice and snow prevailing through much of January and February.
For many particularly in Wales, Cumbria, and Western Scotland the imminent danger is from flooding with seemingly relentless rain battering our western reaches.
As someone who lives on a flood plain I am only too aware of the feeling of helplessness as the rivers rise inexorably under the sheer volume of water. We have had some close calls but thankfully, touch wood, have escaped the worst thus far.
Today the Environment Agency issued a statement of the obvious “Due to recent heavy rain and the current weather forecast, we are expecting flooding. Agency teams are working around the clock, monitoring river levels and are out on the ground checking flood defences and clearing debris from rivers.” All of which is of course is good news but frankly if the rains keep coming there is little apart from sandbagging that we can do.
The storms have coincided with the late Autumn leaf fall and during my walk I was struck by how many of the road drains in my own village were covered in leaves. If you are at flood risk it is worth venturing out to make sure those in your immediate locality are clear.
Of course at this time of year a change in wind direction can quickly turn rain to snow and ice as happened last winter. Many were caught out, including Fire and Safety Centre, as our stock of winter safety products, deicers, gritters and car shovels flew off the shelves. This year we are much better prepared to deal with another severe winter with a healthy stock of new products. Sods law dictates that the mildest winter on record will follow but it is surely better to be prepared, as after all winter comes every year so nothing will go to waste in the long term.