Worst floods since 1756
We crossed the Somerset levels this week-end to visit family in Devon and Cornwall, the media warned of an impending apocalyptic storm, the prime minister acknowledged the plight of those whose farms and livelihoods were already flooded and promised to dredge the rivers of Somerset. Weather forecasts showed only swirling cloud completely obliterating our corner of western Europe. We were foolish to set off.
It did rain most of the way to Plymouth.
We saw some swans preening in a vibrantly green field just east of Bridgewater. We peered into the gloom waiting for the sea of flooded fields to appear. The sun came out and we scanned the sky for rainbows, and for doves carrying twigs — there were none.
Where were the news men in galoshes standing on bridges about to be washed away and waiting for the record high tide at Burnham on Sea? We did not expect the motorway to be submerged (we know that the clever civil engineers at least build their motorways higher than the flood plain) but from the high ground we had been led to expect diluvial vistas — silver fields.
As far as the eye could see all was green, actually very green for the time of year and some of the streams looked alarmingly full, I give you that.
When we arrived at our destination I checked to see if the Somerset levels had been moved, perhaps to Norfolk where it is very flat or to Cumbria where it does rain a lot, but no they were still where I thought they were and still in the centre of a media storm. Yes, that’s about it — a media storm.
I wonder, is there something else going on — are they trying to distract us?