Friday, 9 November 2007

Flooding: Extreme language warning

Last night, faced by the prospect of a northerly gale in the North Sea coinciding with high spring tides, the Environment Agency warned that, 'Severe flooding is expected [on the east coast of England]. It added: 'There is extreme danger to life and property.' The agency also issued eight severe flood warnings, 12 flood warnings and 24 flood watches nationally, covering north Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and the north Kent coast.

In addition, Gordon Brown chaired a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency response committee following concerns that 'more than 10,000 homes could be hit'.

References were also made to the floods of February 1953, caused according to the BBC by a 'tidal wave', which killed 300 people and left thousands more homeless.

Tellingly, Barbara Young, the chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: 'We are better prepared than 1953 and are better served by early warning systems. But saying that, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are not well served by good flood defence systems. We are asking people to act now.'

Clearly, after the flooding in England over the summer, in which 11 people died, the government is acutely conscious that it can't afford to expose itself to further claims that it had ignored flood risks.

Hence, the ritual wheeling on of the hopeless environment secretary, Hilary Benn, who reassures us with this delightful statement of the bleedin' obvious: 'Where we have a combination of the surge with high tides is where we'll have the greatest risk.' Yes, I would say that was about right.

In other words, the major flood defence effort is that being errected around the government itself.

My own preference, hardly likely to be any less unsuccessful, is that the Bottler, decked out in best King Canute gear, should have been ceremoniously escorted to, say, Great Yarmouth from where, seated on the throne he so obviously warrants, he should have commanded the waters to retreat.

Incidentally, anyone interested in the effects of truly terrifying floods in the North Sea should have a look at this article, which only underlines what an extraordinarily violent place the Earth can be (which should give heart to those climate changers with a taste for apocalypse).

Needless to say, I await with scarcely contained eagerness the first claims that these floods have been caused by climate change.

1 comment:

Newmania said...

Briliant post and so quick ...amazing