a reply to: Anaana
First, kudos. Not often people admit to misreading or being wrong. I would also like to apologise as that post came over rather more forcefully than
intended. I can only blame a long day spent sand bagging and helping a couple of friends try to save some belongings.
The flood topped out at just over 5.20m (according to the Environment Agency, reading taken from the Viking measuring point). The water is definately
receding now, which is clearly good.
The point i was making is that the Ouse in central York floods. As the city has been a settlement of some description for well over 2000 years, there
is nowhere in central York to build proper defences - apart from the brick walls with flood gates. As such, St George's field and right along the
front in the centre is supposed to flood (and is why some pubs have furniture nailed to the floor). Clifton Ings is supposed to be for letting off
excess floodwater, so that always floods when the river exceeds a certain height. It must be noted that for whatever reason, on Saturday the pumps
were silent there......
Fulford is bog / marsh land. Again, when the river reaches a certain height the A19 road gets flooded there. This cuts access from that side of York.
This is a common theme (yearly occurance). Germany Beck forms part of this area and is where the council in there wisdom have granted planning
permission for 700 new homes. All i will say is good luck selling those - they will need gullible outsiders to buy them rather than more savvy
Actually though, beyond these issues, York is swamp / marsh land. The Romans installed some irrigation and then in the Medieval period this was
massively expanded and land reclaimed. For the UK, the Ouse is a big river. Big River + marsh land = recipe for flooding. In some respects, this is
similar to the problems on the Somerset levels.
Fundamentally though, the flooding here was that bad because of the Foss (Environment Agency or not). Once it overspilled round the back, it was able
to meet up with Ouse flood water in areas not designed to withstand anywhere near that much water.
I also have to say that people are pretty cheerful, all things considered. There is not really much blame at the moment (beyond a few angry fists
shaken towards the skies!). We had so much water coming down and to cap it all off, we get a lot of rivers from West Yorkshire draining into the Ouse
that people are kind of accepting (that may change in time but who knows?). Basically, people are just cracking on with it.