This week the MET office issued Alerts for Berkshire, “This is the worst level of threat concerning unusually strong winds.”
True enough, a 100mph storm just struck Britain and water levels of Thames rose and they still continue to do so, causing devastating floods across the country. In spite of the early alert, no one could have anticipated a calamity such as this. Datchet, Berkshire was among the places that were severely affected, with around 1700 homes experiencing power cuts and flooding. Based on the NASA satellite data, there are 3 upcoming storms as it continues to rain heavily in the UK. In this regard, British Prime Minister Cameron warns that the situation may even get worse before it becomes better.
The areas that were severely affected in East Berkshire were Datchet, Old Windsor, Bisham, Cookham, Horton and Wraysbury. According to a Berkshire resident, this is the worst flood to hit the area since 1947. The Thames Valley Police declared this as a critical zone. In just a few hours after the heavy rains have poured, streets in Datchet, Berkshire became flooded, threatening homes and businesses. As a matter of fact, there were homes where water rose up to five inches inside.
Rail travel has been disrupted by the rising floodwaters of the Datchet railway station. Rowing boats became the means of transportation since the roads turned into lakes. Though there was no official evacuation, several people have volunteered to leave for their safety. There are some vulnerable residents who chose to stay in their homes even if the council workers have warned them about the possible dangers they could face. There are people who have lost their communication with local residents.
Nothing can be so depressing than to see waste and dead animals in the surrounding water. Another unpleasant sight is to see sewage water going to the sink. This is because there is no place else for the water to go. Some can just imagine the discomfort of using their own toilets. For this reason, a resident has suggested the installation of a chemical toilet for the public to use because of the inability of private toilets to function properly.
To help with the flood defenses, Streetcare teams acted as scouts to spot the residents that needed help. The armed forces were deployed to help residents by handing out 35,000 sandbags, 5000 of which were allotted to Datchet. It took 12 hours for the sandbags to arrive. Nevertheless, they were a welcome relief. These were piled along the major thoroughfares and used to prevent the flood from reaching the electric distribution facility in Pingewood. However, more individuals became more desperate as they grabbed all the sandbags that they can.
There is a small group of houses by the riverside that has been hit by the floods for the second time. Since the residents became accustomed to flooding in their area, they are thinking of ways to prepare for future floods. In fact, one of them installed a unique pumping system for the protection of his property. Though some people are doubtful about this idea, others were convinced that it works. This is since it is the only house that has not been affected by the most recent floods. So, the other neighbors will, also, have one installed.
Calamities bring out the best in people. During these times, people in the community tend to help one another in responding to the crisis. In the midst of the disruption of transportation and communication facilities plus the fear of the constant rising of floodwaters, companies are trying to conduct business in the best way they can. Residents come up with ways to prevent the floods from further affecting the basic facilities. Some are even creative enough to think of devices or systems that can keep the floods from destroying their properties. While some may be easy to blame the authorities for not immediately responding to their needs, the majority support the steps they take to address the situation and help in their own little way.