Floods have been hitting the headlines throughout much of the UK during the past year – and the statistics make for grim reading. Many parts of the country are prone to flooding and around 2.4 million people live in high-risk areas. With one in six homes at risk, you’re more likely to suffer a flood than to be burgled!
Regions with the highest amounts of rainfall, such as Cumbria and Yorkshire, are most at risk, as are areas by the sea or near large rivers, such as Skegness, Cornwall, Hull, Great Yarmouth and Merseyside. The Sussex and Kent coasts are frequently under threat from flooding, as is Somerset, Lincoln, Peterborough, Holbeach, Scunthorpe, Cleethorpes, Burnham-on-Crouch and a host of coastal regions.
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The most recent flooding this year occurred in November when parts of Yorkshire, the Humber, the west and east Midlands and parts of south-east England were struck by serious floods – caused by a combination of excess surface water and rivers bursting their banks. On 14th November, train services were disrupted by flooding.
The following day, after more torrential rain overnight, the Environment Agency issued flood warnings in 147 areas of England due to raised river levels. Most of the UK had received above-average rainfall throughout October, with some areas having more than double the expected amount for the time of year.
At the same time, more than one-third of the river flows UK-wide were classed as exceptionally high. On 8th November, early in the morning, torrential rainfall across the southern Peak District caused flash floods. The rivers burst their banks – and one week later, as more heavy rain spread further south, the levels of the River Avon and the River Severn rose significantly.
In Lincolnshire, more than 1,000 acres of land ended up underwater after the Barlings Eau burst its banks. Some farms were cut off after 12 flood warnings were issued across the county. Residents of the Short Ferry Caravan Park, near Bardney, had to be evacuated after they were stranded by floodwater.
Scientists have claimed global warming is a contributory factor to the flooding problems. Over the centuries, the earth’s climate has regularly changed between a wide range of temperatures, including the sub-zero climate that created the Ice Age, when North America and much of Europe were covered in ice.
While these changes took place over thousands of years, today’s climate is changing much more rapidly. The climate is warming up at an alarming rate and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are beginning to melt. This is producing extra water and making sea levels rise more quickly.
This is significant to the planet because melted water is seeping underneath the ice sheets of Greenland and ice streams are moving into the sea at a faster rate than ever before. Since 1993, when satellite records began, the sea level across the planet has risen by an average of 3.1mm annually. If this continues at the current rate, scientists estimate it will have risen by up to 2.3 feet by 2050. This will put coastal communities at an even greater risk of flooding.
Effects of flooding
The UK has spent around £4.4 billion on flood defences, yet flood damage still occurs, with far-reaching effects. Up to 40% of businesses don’t reopen after they’ve been closed by a flood and the emotional and mental health effects of experiencing your property under water can affect you for more than two years.
At peak times, when serious flooding occurs, it costs the UK economy an estimated £100,000 every hour that a major road is closed. Added to the financial problems and mental health effects, there are other health risks, in terms of water pumping stations and sewage treatment works. Some 55% of the nation’s sewage treatment and water pumping stations are under threat of flooding, with 34% declared to be at significant risk.
Cleaning up after flood damage to your home can be a nightmare, as your carpets and furniture may be completely wrecked, especially if foul water has poured into your home. Even if your fixtures and fittings dry out, they may still retain the odour and will be no use in future.
Should flooding occur in your region, causing irreparable damage to your furniture, never fear, as Furniture Rental Online can help. First, contact your insurer to make a claim, and then contact us on 0800 7819 427 and ask about our emergency furniture rental to help get your life back on track.
Our solutions for emergency furniture can also help insurance companies, loss adjusters and insurance claims handlers.