Wettest Winter Ever: A comment on the ongoing floods in southern England
Contributed by Hannah Cloke, Fredrik Wetterhall and Florian Pappenberger
The UK has been experiencing unprecedented amounts of rainfall in January and February and there is more rain on the way (likely it will be the wettest winter ever). This has led to significant flooding hitting many parts of the Southern UK, including large stretches of the land around the River Thames. The land is completely saturated and groundwater flooding is also a major problem. However, much of the media focus was for a long time on the Somerset Levels, a very low lying agricultural area, where some villages had been cut off and a few properties under water for nearly 8 weeks. The Prime Minister David Cameron made a pledge for extra money to begin dredging the rivers in response to an outcry from local residents that the flooding was caused by the Environment Agency not dredging the rivers. This piece (written on Sunday 9th Feb) was in response to this pledge. Comments would be very welcome. Note that this was a public engagement piece and so there is not a great deal of scientific description in it!