A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Friday, December 06, 2013

The eerie sound of the flood siren

Yesterday everyone throughout the coastal towns and cities of the UK were being warned of a major storm surge and we were being sent messages like this:

Emergency Declared:

'Communities along the East Coast of the Humber area are warned to brace themselves ahead of what is likely to be the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 30 years in our region.
This has led to a major incident being declared as emergency services and local authorities across the Humber prepare for an ingression of water during high tide periods later this evening from around 1700hrs onwards.

The Environment Agency and Met Office are warning that gale-force winds, large waves and a tidal surge caused by low pressure will combine with high tides today and throughout Friday and to Saturday morning, bringing a risk of significant coastal flooding.

All throughout the day my colleagues and friends were receiving phone calls warning them that their homes were situated in high risk areas.  As the wind steadily increased to more than 70mph we all wondered how hard our local area would be hit.  The sound of the wind was crazy; the building we work in is relatively new but what a racket the wind caused.  Then the flood siren's starting going off to warn of the impending tidal surges.  What an eerie sound.  I've been in the UK ten years and I'm sure I've only heard it go off once. Yesterday it continued on throughout the evening. I've never heard anything that sounds quite like it.  I can only imagine what it must have been like to live in this area when the air raids were going on throughout the war. 

I knew we would be safe from the flooding as we live out in a village a few miles away from the coast, but I had a feeling our property was likely going to take a hit from the wind. 

 And it did: 

This is the fence panel that surrounds our fire pit/hot tub area and faced the front yard.  It wouldn't have been so bad if it was the partition between the firepit area and our back garden.  Now we have no choice but to get this sorted before we go to Canada.  It's an expense we really don't need right now.  

But that's just it.  It's only an inconvenient expense.  Because what we need to remember is that it's only property damage and although its only a few weeks until Christmas and money is tight, no one has been hurt.  A lot worse has happened in other areas of the world and even if homes across the country have been flooded and it sucks, we need to remember that it can all be fixed and that we are fortunate enough to live in a country where the emergency services are brilliant and most homes are insured for such disasters.    

We were lucky, the flooding in our town was minimal compared to other areas. 


Dee said...

Good blog Jods, and you're right - we could do without the trouble and expense but all in all we got off lightly with no one hurt. I love that you described the sound of the siren as 'eerie' it conjured up a great mental image of a misty, foggy evening, leaves whooping and swirling in crazy circles across fields, streets and dark lanes - complete with an audible sound-bite.... :)

Laraf123 said...

I'm glad you are okay--you did a good job putting this in perspective; something many of us need reminding of.