Yesterday our British Met Office announced an incredibly wet January in parts of Southern England. Before the month was over, ‘the southeast and central southern England region has already had its wettest January in records going back to 1910.’
The downpours have caused terrible floods. A year ago, we knew this was going to happen.
One of the worst hit areas is the Somerset Levels. The Levels are in southwest England, also called the West Country. This year some land has been underwater for weeks already. We see residents on the news, telling us that ‘the Levels flood, but not like this. Drainage systems aren’t being maintained! Pay for our ruined homes and we’ll move away!’
As for the people whose livelihood is on the land, what are they supposed to do? My fellow blogger Ben Eagle at Thinking Country says that as floods continue on the Levels, ‘we need to be better prepared and mitigate the effects as much as is in our power to do so.’
Some say that there’s far too little response from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency (EA).
Johann Tasker at Farmers Weekly tells us that thousands of hectares of farmland are flooded. ‘Mr Paterson [head of DEFRA] saw the flooding for himself during a visit to Somerset on Monday. But locals said the ministerial visit and listening ear were too little too late – describing Mr Paterson as uncommunicative and criticising him for arriving without wellington boots.’