For some, Christmas this year was one filled with sorrow and despair as yet more severe weather brought misery to North Yorkshire. York saw its worst bout of flooding in decades and many villages and towns remain cut off from one another following the devastation caused by the rise in water levels. Cawood bridge remains closed causing heavy traffic for commuters on the A19 and the government is stalling to repair Tadcaster’s once proud, historical bridge after it collapsed, effectively splitting the town in two. There was something positive that emerged from these terrible floods though, as Clarke Roberts detailed what he saw in Selby town centre which, thanks to its relatively new flood defences, was spared from damage to properties and businesses. Here’s what he said:
“I took a trip out one evening to witness for myself the dangerously high water levels in the Ouse and was met with a horde of Selby residents, offering their assistance to the emergency services and army where ever they were needed. A Facebook group was set up so that people could offer their help to those who needed it most; offers of temporary accommodation, replacement household items, assistance with placing sandbags amongst other offers of help. I can say with certainty that the last few days have exemplified what it means to be a community and I am extremely proud to be part of a town that pulls together in times of need. A huge well done to everyone who gave up their free time to help those affected by the floods.
What this has highlighted is two things: a complete rethink of the UK’s flood defences is needed, and the real threat the climate change poses to our weather systems. Unless serious commitment to tackling climate change takes force, we can expect to see more of these sorts of storms in the future.”
In related news, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has today urged members of his Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency to sign a petition, urging the government to apply for funds from the European Union. The funds could, if granted, could provide much needed financial relief to those affected in Cumbria by October and November’s severe weather and subsequent flooding. Tim Farron said:
This would secure millions of pounds to help rebuild areas that have been hit by flooding, yet the Conservatives are more interested in scoring political points with their Eurosceptic backbenchers than in securing funds for flood-hit areas.
Were you affected by the floods during the Christmas break? If so, let us know about your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment below.