It is a terrible thing to have your home flooded, and your belongings destroyed. It is a terrible thing when one of those working to save people’s lives is killed. And of course it all looks like a disaster of Biblical proportions … if you believe the press. And nothing like this has ever happened before … if you believe the press. Hell, has no one read any history books, or even any history novels? This is Britain, it rains here, it floods here, and it always has. Go on the Internet and check up on some history for goodness sake!
Cockermouth – Rivers Cocker and Derwent
Cockermouth at the confluence of the Rivers Derwent and Cocker has been designated a ‘gem’ town by the Council for British Archaeology to be preserved as part of the National Heritage. It has an extensive conservation area within the town and numerous listed buildings/structures. The Flood Warning Area covers an urban area of 0.77 square kilometres. Number of Properties at Risk in FWA 574
Earliest recorded flooding was in 1761, since then flooding has occurred in 1771, 1852, 1874, 1918, 1931, 1932, 1938, 1966, 1999 and 2005. (and now)
In 1938 flooding under Cocker Bridge washed away a section of sewer and Barrell Brewery Bridge collapsed (Waterloo Bridge stands there now). The town centre and Main Street were badly affected. It was claimed that trout and even a large pike were caught on the High Street.
On 7th and 8 th January 2005, although the River Cocker was in spate with a return period of 1 in 25 years, the main source of flooding was the overtopping of the defences by the River Derwent with a return period estimated at 1 in 100 years.
… Flooding then extended onto the northern half of the Main Street and then covered the whole of the Main Street to a depth of 100mm. Parts of Waterloo Street suffered flooding up to 900mm deep. 113 properties flooded in the Waterloo and Main Street areas and 2 properties from Tom Rudd Beck (Main River). In the Gote area, which is undefended, initial flooding occurred to a low level area of Sandair from a rising water table. Shortly after this the area in front of the allotment gardens started to flood, initially from highway drainage connected to the river. River levels continued to rise and reached the rear of Gote Road, flowing through the properties onto Gote Road. At peak river levels a flow route was established via the entrance to the cricket ground down Gote Road to the low point. At roughly the same time a flow route was established to the river from the north end of Gote Road. Some 34 properties suffered internal flooding with the maximum flood depth on the road being some 900mm
Note the parts I’ve highlighted. These things are cyclical and the only reason they are getting worse in Britain (if they are) is because we’ve concreted over vast swathes of this country and the water has no where to soak away. But come on now – this sort of thing, historically – was not uncommon:
Thames flood in 1869:
Victorian floods in Windsor 1869, 1872, 1875, 1877, 1891 & 1894
and how about
The East Coast flood of 1953.