Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Widespread flooding occurred throughout the United Kingdom in June and July 2007, killing 11 people. The flooding affected thousands of businesses, tens of thousands of homes and further affected up to a million people.

Meteorological background
England was affected by the June and July floods, with the North badly hit in June, the West badly hit in July, and many areas hit in both. It was England's wettest July on record. affected by the flooding are given below.

Affected areas in England
By 24 July, parts of Bedford and Luton were flooded were also flooded.

On 20 July, the M4 was closed after a landslide caused by flooding between Junctions 12 and 13 eastbound.
In Reading, rail services to the Southwest were affected and Westbound trains from Paddington could go no further.
The flood waters affected the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Burghfield, which handles Britain's nuclear warheads.

On 3 June, Stoke Goldington suffered flash flooding affecting 25 homes.

On 24 July, four bridges in St Neots, Cambridgeshire were shut when the river level peaked, and the Environment Agency warned residents in the St Neots, Paxton and Offords areas to expect flooding that night.

On 15 June, heavy rainfall caused the postponement of the fourth test match between England and the West Indies at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street. On 23 June, flash floods affected parts of Darlington

County Durham
A 64 year old man injured his head and died after trying to bail out his flooded home in Alston, Cumbria.

On 15 June, flooding affected properties in Coal Aston, Calow and Chesterfield town centre, and the A617 was filled with more than 2 feet (1 m) of floodwater causing traffic delays. Shops affected in the Ravenside Retail Park included Currys, PC World and a pet store.

Gloucestershire was the worst-affected county.

By 19 June, Herefordshire was affected by flooding. Houses, including the Herefordshire home of Daily Mail writer Quentin Letts, were flooded by a torrent of water gushing from what had previously been only a small, unnamed brook north of Ross-on-Wye.

On 12 June, Lostock Hall and Penwortham near Preston were hit by flash floods.

On 25 June, the region was hit by flooding. Emergency services received more than 600 flood-related calls, roads were flooded in Grantham, Lincoln, Louth and Horncastle, homes in Louth and Langworth were flooded, the River Witham and Brayford Pool overtopped, people left their homes in Wainfleet, people were evacuated by boat from about 120 flats in Lincoln, and homes near Market Rasen and Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire were left without power.

On 20 July flooding occurred in many parts of London. Water and power supplies were not disrupted but parts of South West London were under 2 feet (61 cm) of water. Heathrow Airport cancelled 141 flights. Two of four rail lines in South Croydon were closed by landslips. The London Underground was severely disrupted and 25 stations were closed.

On 27 June 2007, flash flooding caused extensive damage to the villages of Lambley, Woodborough and Burton Joyce. Major towns were hit including Mansfield and Hucknall but not as severely as Lambley. Nottingham city was on high ground and unaffected. The same day, flooding occurred at Retford and Worksop after the River Idle and River Ryton respectively overtopped their banks.

Many rivers burst their banks, including both the Thames and the Cherwell in Oxford, the Thames and the Ock in Abingdon, the Cherwell in Banbury, and the Windrush and Evenlode in Witney.
By 21 July, Banbury
On 25 July residents of Osney in west Oxford were advised to leave their homes. About 30 people went to the Kassam stadium shelter while another 250 decided to stay with family and friends. Osney Mead substation, which supplies power to Oxford city centre, was threatened but did not flood. Later that evening, the Thames breached its banks at Henley.

By 19 June, rain had washed away the main road at Hampton Loade

By 21 July, flooded parts of Warwickshire included Alcester, Stratford-upon-Avon, Shipston on Stour and Water Orton.

200 people were forced to leave Witton Road and Tame Road in Aston, Birmingham when the River Tame flooded. Water entered the streets of Shirley, Solihull.

West Midlands
On 20 July, Swindon had a month's rainfall in less than half a day and more than 50 people were rescued from their flooded homes.

By 19 June, Worcestershire was affected by flooding.

On 15 June, the region was hit by flooding. Roads including the A1105 in Hull and schools in the region were closed, the Hull Lord Mayor's Parade was cancelled, the Festival of Football was postponed, police declared a major incident and Hessle in Hull, on the border between one council and the other, suffered two square miles of severe sewage-contaminated flooding.
By 3 September, figures released by Hull City Council had been revised upwards to 7,800 houses that had been flooded plus 1,300 businesses that were affected.

Yorkshire (East Riding) and Kingston upon Hull
By 15 June, towns and villages in North Yorkshire were flooded, with Knaresborough, Harrogate and York being particularly affected. In Scarborough, the main A171 Scalby Road flooded outside Scarborough Hospital, and the ornamental lake at Peasholm Park overtopped its banks and poured down Peasholm Gap into North Bay. Near Catterick, North Yorkshire, a 17 year old soldier on a training exercise from Catterick Garrison died after being swept away whilst crossing Risedale Beck, Hipswell Moor.

Yorkshire (North)
On 25 June, Sheffield suffered extensive damage as the River Don over topped its banks causing widespread flooding in the Don Valley area of the city. A 14-year-old boy was swept away by the swollen River Sheaf

June 2007 United Kingdom floods Yorkshire (South)
On 15 June and again on 25 June, the villages of Scissett and Clayton West and other parts of Kirklees were flooded by the River Dearne, the second time worse than the first.
On 29 June, Wakefield was flooded. Six elderly women, including a 91-year-old, were stranded in their homes.

Yorkshire (West)
Northern Ireland was hit by flooding in the June and July floods and it was Northern Ireland's wettest June since 1958. affected are given below.

Affected areas in Northern Ireland
On 12 June, the Knockmore campus of the Lisburn Institute in Lisburn was affected by flooding. The same day, parts of East Belfast near the Antrim-Down border that were affected included the Kings Road, Ladas Drive, Strandtown Primary School and the Parliament Buildings in Stormont, with 80 residents evacuated from their old people's home on the Kings Road and Avoniel Leisure Centre opened to assist flood victims.

County Antrim
On 15 June, there was severe flooding around Bangor in North Down, Saintfield, Crossgar and Ballynahinch in Down and Newtownards and Comber in Ards, with shops in Crossgar centre flooded.

County Down
On 12 June, Magherafelt was affected by flooding. were rendered impassable by floodwater.

County Tyrone
Scotland was hit by flooding in June and July, with the Lowlands most badly affected. On 12 June, the Met Office issued torrential rain warnings for Scotland affected are given below.

Affected areas in Scotland
On 21 June, about 2000 homes were left without electricity and properties were affected as flash floods hit Kilmarnock.

Ayrshire and Arran
On 18 July, floods wrecked homes in Closeburn, power was cut off at Eaglesfield, and roads were closed at Moffat and Lochmaben.

On 1 July rain cancelled the one-day international cricket match between Scotland and Pakistan in Edinburgh

Edinburgh and Midlothian
On 22 June, heavy storms flooded roads

Glasgow and Lanarkshire
On 3 July a landslide caused by floodwater disrupted traffic on the A941 Rothes to Aberlour road in Moray.

On 18 July, heavy rain caused landslips blocking the railway line between Strathcarron and Achnasheen for a predicted 10 days,

Ross and Cromarty
On 25 June rain forced the 108-year old Beltane Festival in Peebles to be held indoors for the first time.

Wales was hit by flooding in June and July, with the Eastern areas most badly affected. It was Wales's wettest June since 1998, and its second wettest since 1914. affected are given below.

Affected areas in Wales
On 26 June, roads including the A5 were impassable at Corwen in Denbighshire, a river overflowed at Worthenbury in Flintshire, and properties were affected in Wrexham.

Lampeter in Ceredigion was affected by flooding on 11 June

On 26 June, properties were affected in Tintern in Monmouthshire.

In Montgomeryshire, ten people were taken to safety at Tregynon and a dozen homes were flooded at Bettws Cedewain on 22 July,

On 20 July, flash floods affected the Vale of Glamorgan, causing schools to be evacuated, roads to be closed, and boats used to rescue people from their homes in Barry.

South Glamorgan
Areas affected by flooding during this period were as follows (see above for specific citations):
England (Buckinghamshire)
England (Lancashire),
Northern Ireland (Belfast, Cookstown, Dungannon, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Omagh),
Wales (Ceredigion)
England (County Durham, Herefordshire, North and West Yorkshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire),
Northern Ireland (Ards, Down, North Down),
Scotland (Ayrshire, Lanarkshire),
Wales (Ceredigion)
England (East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, South Yorkshire),
Scotland (Peebles),
Wales (Denbighshire, Flintshire, Monmouthshire, Wrexham)
England (Buckinghamshire, Lancashire, West Yorkshire),
Northern Ireland (Antrim),
Scotland (Midlothian, Moray)
De facto gap between the June and July floods
England (County Durham, Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Worcestershire),
Northern Ireland (Coleraine, Larne),
Scotland (Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Ross and Cromarty),
Wales (Denbighshire)
England (Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Greater London, Herefordshire, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire),
Wales (Newport, Monmouthshire, Powys, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan)

1-7 June:
8-14 June:
15-21 June:
22-28 June:
29 June-5 July:
6-12 July:
13-19 July:
20-26 July: Timeline for June and July floods

Following the flooding in late June, the rescue effort was described by the Fire Brigades Union as the "biggest in peacetime Britain".

Rescue effort
The Health Protection Agency advised people that the risk of contracting any illness was low but that it was best to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater.

Health risks
The floods caused widespread crop damage, especially broccoli, carrots, peas and potatoes. In parts of Lincolnshire it was estimated that 40% of the pea crop may have been damaged, with other crops also suffering major losses. Prices of vegetables were expected to rise in the following months.

Crop damage
Environment Agency chief executive Baroness Young said that about £1bn a year was needed to improve flood defences. The Association of British Insurers has said the total bill for the June and July floods could reach £2bn.

Financial cost
On 3 July, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced that the Government would increase the spending on risk management and flood defences by £200 million to £800 million by 2010-11.
On 8 August 2007 Defra announced that Sir Michael Pitt would chair an independent review of the response to the flooding. On 4 September of that year the Cabinet Office website launched a comments page to let people affected by the flooding contribute their experiences to the review.
Comments for the interim report are due by 26 October 2007 and the form can be found on the Cabinet Office website at

Criticism of Hull Council
In June, councillors in Hull claimed that the city was being forgotten and had the floods occurred in the Home Counties, help would have arrived much more quickly. One in five homes in Hull was damaged and 90 out of the city's 105 schools suffered some damage. Damage to the schools alone was estimated to cost £100 million. The Bellwin Scheme for providing aid after natural disasters was criticised as inadequate by Hull MP Diana Johnson.