by Barbara Lancey
Michael began by stating that the flooding that year spanned 65 square miles and 'drowned' over 200 houses, causing untold heartache. He explained that while it was clearly apparent that the main cause for such devastation in 2014 was through lack of regular dredging, the geography of the area also contributes, as the Somerset Levels are not level but a basin that turns up at the edges and twice a month the Bristol Channel sends up the second highest tides in the world, which the River Parrett cannot discharge so is tide locked – a disaster waiting to happen.
Flooding occurs year on year, and there will never be a single easy solution, but he emphasised that with proper management of the waterways, such disasters as in 2014 are less likely and minimal flooding should prevail.
Michael continued to explain how he and his family coped with the impending doom, having kept the waters at bay initially with initiative and knowledge, but eventually accepting the inevitable, though on his and his families terms as it were, and with local invaluable assistance and advice, for which he was very grateful. He told his story with suspense and humour and ended by saying the experience had in fact been enriching, and that he was 'glad' to have gone through the ordeal – it taught him a lot about community, patience and resourcefulness, and despite everything he would go through it all again.
Michael has written a fascinating account of his experiences called 'The Flood – surviving the deluge', and you are well advised to read it.
Having thanked Michael for his presentation, which we all agreed was an amazing account, refreshments were served and chat happened.
Our next meeting is the summer Garden Party, a purely social event, but for further details on this event or about the Tuesday Group in general, please contact either Barbara Lancey on 01458 252657, email email@example.com, or Aideen Roche on 01458 252022, email firstname.lastname@example.org.