No trains to and from Exeter for 48 hours

Storm Angus and yesterday’s ‘Amber’ rain have taken their toll, flooding is widespread and disruption is extensive.

sw-flooding
This graphic from the website FloodAlerts from yesterday afternoon sums up the problems in Devon and Somerset

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-07-54-24This is the gauging station data from the Exe in Exwick where I live – the first peak (20/11) shows the water levels caused by Storm Angus, the second peak (yesterday) is as a result of the ‘amber’ rain – note this is a new record high.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-08-21-43As a result this has just been issued by the BBC – no trains in and out of Exeter for 48 hours – we’ve been here before ……. (see here)

We have undoubtedly had a lot of rain but many of us think the problems have been exacerbated by certain land management practices – I have written extensively about this in the past with particular reference to maize cultivation (see here for all my writing on that topic) and today my Twitter feed is full of other people saying pretty much the same thing.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-08-39-55Here is a tweet from an Environment Agency Manager in Herefordshire – look familiar?

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-08-39-32And here is the Chief Executive of the West Country River’s Trust making the same point by commenting on flood management expert Phil Brewin’s tweet and photos from Somerset

Understanding management practices on land are essential in the fight against flooding and maize in inappropriate places really makes things worse. Many of us have also been arguing  for ‘natural flood management’ solutions such as those implemented at Holnicote (see here)

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-09-05-12Here is a tweet (yesterday evening at 5pm) from Nigel Hester of the National Trust who project managed the Holnicote Natural Flood Management Project

Ironically yesterday the Guardian published a piece which featured Holnicote and stated that the Government is not funding any Natural Flood Management Schemes at present – see here.

Lets hope some of these things change soon.

5 thoughts on “No trains to and from Exeter for 48 hours

  1. I would be interested to see long term, repeat, long term, hydrographs of flood events from EA gauges. Is there any evidence of steeper and higher level events on the hydrographs? I’ve yet to see. Such information would help the response to the apparently increasing severity of flood events – need to understand land management (maize effect very evident) as well as nature of storm events . Surely we have the hydrograph data from some recording stations ?

    Steve Preston

  2. My previous home, in a Northamptonshire village,had frequent flooding problems and was eventually protected by a lagoon. The lagoon was a grazing field in dry weather, but shaped like a pool, it was allowed to fill with flood water to prevent the rising stream pouring into the village. Our other great help was the local fire brigade, who turned up in the middle of the night to pump away water before it reached us. That was ten or more years ago.

  3. Simple way forward is to remove basic farm subsidy from land management practices that are known to be detrimental to the environment (eg flood management risk, soil erosion risk), such as maize, outdoor pigs, sugar beet. Then let the market forces change the farming practices – plenty of examples of how that works.

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