Extreme flooding isn’t an unfamiliar event in Gloucestershire. The county was hit hard by terrible flooding in 2007 when two months of rain fell down in one day, devastating the lives of thousands of people.
Three lives were taken, Hundreds of people were left homeless, several without power, and thousands had no water for weeks. The community resulted in buying water containers in bulk after The Mythe Water Treatment Works in Tewkesbury was inundated with contaminated water from the River Severn. This led to the loss of tap water for approximately 150,000 people.
Although Gloucestershire may not be directly affected by rising sea levels for many years, climate change will still cause a dramatic impact on the county. With an almost 0.2°C increase each year, a hotter planet holds more moisture. With more moisture comes more floods, storms and heavy rainfall which is the problem Gloucestershire is facing.
Right now, Northern England and the Midlands are already experiencing heavier rains and more flooding, with the UK Met Office warning communities that there could be a danger to life in worst case scenarios. Just a 4°C rise in global temperature would cause floods to double in the UK with additional one million homes exposed to high risk flooding.
We have to ask ourselves, can Gloucestershire cope with another flood?
Tewksbury was hit the hardest in 2007, most of the town was underwater and residents had to be evacuated. The floods still have a hold over Tewksbury to this day as most residents can’t get house insurance due to the inevitable damage caused by constant flooding.
Officials at Mythe Water Treatment Works insist that county residents have nothing to be worried about. After building a 340-metre-long wall that cost £500,000, they say the water will never be polluted like before.
We may be safe from a similar flood, but who’s to say it won’t be worse than before? With the climate getting hotter, heavier rain could cause even more damage than before. That’s what I will be investigating- keep updated on my flooding reports on the Branch website.