Not all floods are created equal. Now, that might sound obvious when you think of your local flooded ford in comparison to an event of biblical proportions (think Noah or the 2004 Tsunami). But as far as the difference between the two is concerned, there is more to it than Hollywood-style special effects.
Some floods occur as a result of plumbing, piping and drainage issues. Others occur over time, as a result of water build-up and saturated water tables. Then you have the unexpected floods, which occur as a result of natural disasters and weather anomalies.
Thankfully, the UK does not suffer from catastrophic weather events on the same scale as other, more volatile parts of the world that are battered by hurricanes, tsunamis and landslides on a regular basis. That said, we Brits have had our fair share of flooding disasters over the centuries.
Here at Relko, we have a lot of experience dealing with flood and fire restoration, having seen small domestic floods, as well as larger scale flooding in commercial environments and everything in between.
As experienced as we are though, some of the floods the UK has experienced in the last 100 years would challenge even our team of professionals. Here is a quick look at just three of the worst floods the UK experienced between 1944 and 2004.
Holmfirth Flood (1944)
The famous Holmfirth flood occurred 29th May 1944, 92 years after the most devastating floods the area had ever suffered. Holme Valley in West Yorkshire is not new to flooding; severe floods have been recorded there since the 1700s.
The 1944 floods were a modern day tragedy, and though they were not widely reported due to WWII transmission restrictions, it is known that the flash floods occurred as a result of severe thunderstorms. By the end of the ordeal, three people had died, and there was extensive damage to 17 mills, 61 shops and 109 homes.
Lynmouth Flood (1952)
A tropical storm over southwest England had disastrous consequences on 15-16th August 1952. In just 24 hours, 229mm of rain fell on an already waterlogged region and led to a dangerous bout of flash flooding. Waters carrying debris like trees and boulders gushed down the hillside with speed and force, coming together on top of the village of Lynmouth.
The flash floods were vicious and left the village devastated with 100 buildings damaged and destroyed, as well as 28 bridges and 38 cars being washed out to sea. In total, 420 people lost their homes and 34 people lost their lives.
Boscastle Flood (2004)
On 16th August 2004, flash floods savaged Cornwall as excessive rain fell on certain areas in just eight hours. The floods, which had peak flows of 140m per second, were nothing new; in fact, they occurred exactly 52 years on from the last big flood to hit the affected area of Cornwall.
Investigations have since concluded that the soil, bedrock and topography of the area, combined with the freak weather conditions, had disastrous results. Approximately 100 homes and businesses were destroyed, whilst 75 cars, five caravans, six buildings and several boats were washed out to sea. In addition, 150 people had to be rescued from clinging onto trees, cars and roofs.
Now, these three floods are just sample of the weather and flooding related issues the UK has faced in recent decades. There are preventative measures in place, however, to minimise damage and boost warnings. Nevertheless, flooding is a force of nature and sometimes, the inevitable happens. That is where Relkogroup come in. Once the emergency services have done their duty, it is up to us to carry out flood and fire restoration, to get homes and businesses back up and running.