Express & Star comment: Storm Dennis impact still felt

The beginning of the year, before the coronavirus unpleasantness hit with full force, seems a world away now.

The Riverside Caravan Park Houses surrounded by flood water in in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis.
The Riverside Caravan Park Houses surrounded by flood water in in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis.

Covid has dominated everything in recent months, so those not directly affected may need a gentle reminder of the devastating floods and the widespread misery that Storm Dennis brought in February.

Those who were directly affected continue to live with the consequences.

The damage went way beyond the need to do a little mopping up overnight. Homes were ruined. Businesses were ruined.

Lives were ruined. For those who have recovered there is the knowledge that unless you change something, flooding history repeats itself.

And you may not have to wait long at all. Those living close to the River Severn or any of the other waterways which burst their banks during the storm’s downpours are facing the prospect of it happening all over again.

That is something to cast a dark shadow over the future, plans to rebuild businesses, and efforts to recreate comfortable homes.

Angry and swollen rivers are not the only villains of the piece. Flooding comes in various guises. For instance, the Dale End Cafe in Coalbrookdale, hoping to reopen on Friday, has been hit four times this year, the latest in June. February’s experiences were so bad that they renewed the focus on trying to find ways to address the flooding problems.

Various ideas, some of them really radical, have been put forward. Money has been made available although it will be, so to speak, a drop in the ocean in the context of the magnitude of the problem. It would be unrealistic to believe there is a complete solution, but there are plenty of potential partial ones.

In the past 20 years, since the great millennium year floods, there have been a variety of schemes which have done good work in protecting people – some people.

This may be the pattern for the future, with targeted schemes, each adding to the numbers given protection, yet always leaving unshielded victims. Many would welcome flood prevention schemes , but until those happen, what will really help them is continued public support.

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