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The United Kingdom is suffering through the wettest winter and worst flooding ever recorded. And it’s learning it isn’t properly prepared to deal with extreme weather now or in the future.
Worst hit were England’s Somerset Levels and Thames valley communities, where as many as 5,000 homes and businesses were flooded and major roads blocked. Railways were also disrupted, and a section of line in Dawlish was left suspended in mid air.
Even though some say the country handled the wet weather well enough because “critical national infrastructure” held up “pretty well,” you’ll likely get a different perspective from those who lost their homes, were cut off by flooded streets and were exposed to dangerous hazards floating in flood waters.
Engineers say the UK should be looking at what other countries have done to help prevent flooding disasters and think about buidling raised roads and home living spaces and energy-generating lagoons.
UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website admits that climate projections indicate sea levels will rise and rainstorms will grow increasingly more frequent and severe.
Therefore it is crucial that Defra take climate change into account in its plans to reduce the impact of flooding in the future.
We, the undersigned, say the UK should be taking climate change more seriously in its planning to reduce the impact of flooding in the future.
The UK’s Department for the Environment notes that nearly 1 in 6 properties in England are at risk for flooding, and that extreme weather and rising sea levels contributing to flooding are almost certain in the future.
Harsh lessons learned by residents of Somerset Levels and Thames valley are not ones the rest of these 5 million property owners would want to have to learn the hard way, and if proper changes are made, they may not have to.
But incredibly, not only do some experts seems to be downplaying the impact of the current flooding, the Environment Agency is reportedly considering cutting jobs once the current crisis is over.
Engineers’ proposed new approaches to lessen the impact of flooding seem reasonable as well as supportive of sustainable energy . They say the proposed Bridgwater Bay project would help drain Somerset Levels and also protect it from rising waters and storm surges - and the lagoon could generate energy. Experts believe these measures are make more sense than dredging and planting more trees.
We request that Defra take all these new proposals into consideration for reducing the impact of future flooding, and most of all take the impact of climate change into consideration in all its flood impact planning.
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