Flooding in Frankwell

Flooding in Frankwell was the worst in twenty years.

This video by Daniel Catt shows the extent of the floods. Watch it and weep!

324mm of rain fell on Shrewsbury in two weeks thanks to storms Ciara and Dennis. Our average yearly rainfall is 707mm! The combination of this and the water hurtling off the Welsh mountains into the river Severn was enough to cause a serious crisis. Homes along New Street to the Boathouse were flooded half a metre deep, the Welsh Bridge was closed, for a few days Shrewsbury became a ghost town, the perimeter roads blocked by desperate drivers trying to find a way in.

Frankwell residents have seen it all before and the community spirit shone brightly. People shared pumps, food, coffee and expertise. In some ways we’ll miss these floods!

Danny K, the conservative member of parliament for Shrewsbury came up with the notion of damming the River Severn upstream. No doubt taking his cue from Boris Johnson’s absurd ambition to build a bridge across the Irish Sea. Apart from the obvious disadvantage to farmers who would find themselves underwater permanently, this idea flies in the face of current thinking about conservation.

Flooding in the UK is increasing for two reasons. Firstly there is more rain, secondly, farmers, sheep, councils and residents have stripped the hills of bushes, trees and natural barriers to water. At the same time building super efficient drains to speed the water onwards into the river. When it does rain, all of the water races downhill, finding its way to the river in record time.

There is little we can do in the short term about more rain, but we can and should start planning for a sustainable future. This is not the time to ignore arguments about climate change, it is real and it is having an effect. As individuals we cannot trust our elected representatives to do the right thing by the planet. Flooding in Frankwell is back.

Guardian columnist George Monbiot is a proponent of “rewilding”. His thesis that we in the UK have created havoc in our environment by stripping it of anything that doesn’t make money. Our national parks excepted, we have wrecked the ecosystem with sheep, grouse moors and roads. In a list of nations ranked by the intactness of their living systems, the UK ranks 189th out of 219. Successive governments have ignored conservation, supported fossil fuel and kowtowed to the vested interests of large landowners. The result? Well check out the video..

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