Flood

December in the north of England has been the month of the flood. Until Boxing Day, it was Cumbria that saw all the action, with some communities flooded out not once, not twice, but three times.  They were told to stand by for more on Boxing Day.  They readied themselves…. and nothing happened, because the torrential rains prophesied swept south and east of them, firstly into Lancashire, and then Yorkshire

We were staying with my daughter’s family in that part of Greater Manchester that used to be in Lancashire.  They live near a Nature Reserve through which Bradshaw Brook passes.  I’d say ‘flows’, but such a phrase is normally far too active a description for this narrow little watercourse.

This was Bradshaw Brook yesterday.

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Bradshaw Brook, Boxing Day 2015

We were due to travel home from their house to ours, in Yorkshire.  Highways England, the BBC, and motoring organisations all had conflicting information on their websites.  But they all agreed that our usual route, a scenic drive over the Pennines, was largely impassable.

It would have to be the motorway.  Longer, duller, but surer.  We’d not long been travelling when we noticed that traffic on the other carriageway was at a complete standstill, for miles…and miles.  It was only when we got home that we found out that a 20′ sinkhole had opened up near Rochdale.  So much for safer-by-motorway…..

Where to leave the motorway though, for the final few miles home?  There were floods in Leeds, floods near Harrogate – there were sure to be floods in Boroughbridge too.  What about Knaresborough?  It turned out there were floods near there too, as we discovered when warning notices turned us back on the road we’d come on, and sent us back by several miles to look for another route.  Familiar fields had turned into lakes, deep and almost unfordable road-side puddles were unavoidable.

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This doesn’t look too bad. Trust me. It’s deep.

We’re lucky.  We were flood-tourists on our journey home, gawping at rivers-become-seas, and roads-become-rivers.  Our home wasn’t flooded, nor will it be.  Others aren’t so fortunate.  They’re either contemplating the devastation of their own home or business – or both, or anxiously shoring up the front door with as many sandbags as they can lay their hands on, in anticipation of the days ahead, when the forecast continues to be grim.  We could all do with a bit of an old-fashioned winter cold snap, with a touch of frost, but positively no rain.

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You see that bridge, centre left? That’s a bridge over the River Ure, in Ripon. This lake in the foreground is not a lake, but open ground at the edge of the city, favoured by dog-walkers and children.

26 thoughts on “Flood”

  1. informative and well-illustrated post. Wow – a lot of problems for a lot of people. I can’t see the bridge centre left but perhaps that was the point? Happy New Year to you and your family Margaret.

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  2. Oh, that’s scary stuff! I’m so glad to hear you weren’t too affected but so many people must be having terrible time. Five years ago, our lake reached historic levels and we lived in a tacky motel for 6 weeks–I know flooding . . .

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  3. This just sounds and looks miserable and all the disruption it causes peoples lives is awful. Seems so many bloggers are reporting extreme weather from extreme heat to extremely mild winters to terrible storms and tornados. Maybe this is the ‘new normal’…In spite of that gloomy comment I wish you all the best for 2016!

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  4. Glad you are safely home. We went to Masham on Boxing day and the Ure was absolutely wild – even in our Landrover we struggled to get into town. x

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    1. Yes, it was a dramatic homecoming from the wilds of Lancashire and Yorkshire. York seems to be getting the lion’s share of publicity – though it certainly has come off worst.

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  5. My goodness, it truly looks very, very dangerous. I think people often forget just how powerful Nature is and then suddenly how shocking it can be. So pleased to read that you got home safely. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for less rain and hope the politicians get their act together.

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  6. Thank you. We’re safe, but not necessarily dry. An eight mile drive this morning took us past Tanfield Lake, Nosterfield Sea, Sheep Pasture Ocean, all features you may struggle to find on your map, unless it was published round about the day before yesterday. And I gather parts of France have had no rain since September. Funny old world. Happy New Year!

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  7. I’m so glad you got back safely. Our hearts go out to those who have been flooded, some twice over and then to have their goods looted. I’m really fed up with this warm weather, there were photographs of swathes of daffodils out in Windsor Park. As I write we have a brief cold but sunny snap and then more wind and rain 😦

    Anyway a Happy New Year to you and Malcolm.

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  8. Glad you survived and got home unscathed. Needless to say a huge sinkhole in Rochdale didn’t make it to the news in this part of the world. It must be terrifying. Occasionally we have extremely small versions appear in our garden but they’re just an irritation.We achieved 30 mins kite flying on Boxing Day, before the rain and 4 miles along the prom on New Years Day before the rain. The garden is completely waterlogged but at least living on a hillside makes flooding less likely. Like Sharon N I also am not pleased to see daffodils in full flower as well as my lonicera x purpusii which is well ahead of schedule. I’m not the only one to be putting ladybirds back in the garden from where I find them wandering inside. We all need some cold bright weather.
    Happy New Year

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    1. Don’t we just. Snowdrops and aconites are out here, and just one crocus. I keep finding butterflies in the bedroom. Frost yesterday morning lasted a whole hour before we went back to double figures as usual. And according to a friend who rang yesterday, there is no snow on Mont d’Olmes. By the way, Emily-from-Barcelona is going to South Korea to work for a year. Yours are all back from distant climes, non? Happy New Year in any case!

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  9. Oui pour l’education des enfants and the teachers’ pension scheme!. Enjoy South Korea; Ang Kor Watt (if that’s how you spell it) is on my list. I have no snowdrops and have noted in the past that they seem to obey the “programme” rather than the weather.

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  10. Wow – Bradshaw brook had certainly overflown its banks! I missed most of the flooding back at home this year as I was travelling but witnessed a very scary flash flood in Texas – the road turned into a river in what seemed like a couple of minutes.

    You’ve highlighted a real gap in our information systems – when some roads are impassible due to rain or water, or bridges are weakened or down, it’s really hard to work out a route.

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