Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Storm, rain and flooding

We had a bit of wind and rain down here in the South West. Mostly in Cornwall, here in Devon we got to slight edge of the rain. In some parts of Mid to South Cornwall over 50 mm of rain fell in a few hours. That kind of downpour can have only on result. If you have been watching the news today you will have seen the devastation caused. So far, thankfully it would appear no lives have been lose but many people have had their homes flooded and belongings destroyed.

Is this a sign of climate change? Well it could be, or maybe not. I've been around a long time and don't recall from the fifties and sixties the number of reports of flooding that have occurred in the last 15 years. What I do remember from when I lived in London about 20 years ago is a drainage engineer on TV who was concerned about the vast increase in the number of cars now on the roads. His concern wasn't the polluting or greenhouse gas effect of all these extra cars but the fact that so many households were moving toward two and three cars per house (even more by now) and the covering over of front gardens to provide car parking space would mean water ending up in the drains that previously would have been absorbed by the gardens. Could it be that the increase in the size of roads and urban spread is having a similar effect on a much larger scale.

Anyway as the photo shows we did have a lot of water on our roads here in Torquay, didn't slow the cars down much though.

PS Average rainfall in Cornwall is 850 mm per year. That's 70 mm per month so a lot of rain fell.

PPS I got soaked taking the photo but the camera was OK.


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