Northern England under water

It was pretty awful, watching with dread fascination as so many parts of the UK flooded out over Christmas. When we think of climate refugees, we think of people from Africa and India — but it’s really everywhere these days:

It was the day the floodwaters inexorably advanced across the Pennines, leaving much of the north of England sodden and beleaguered. From Greater Manchester in the north-west to parts of North Yorkshire some 50 miles to the east, Boxing Day 2015 will be remembered as the day the rains came.

In Todmorden, in West Yorkshire’s Calder Valley, Rebecca Marshall was last night facing the grim prospect of having to abandon her home as the floodwaters slowly rose around her house. The incessant rains had left the little town cut off after all the roads in and out were flooded.

By late afternoon the waters were “inches” from the top of the local defence wall and Marshall was stuck inside her home without electricity. Then floodwaters started to rise through her floorboards. “At the moment in our house it’s ankle-deep,” she said.

“There’s about three feet of water outside our door. With no electricity we will have to move out. However, I don’t think we can get out of the town. All the roads in and out of Todmorden have been closed. Fortunately we have had friends and family turn up from all over the place offering to help.”

It was the same disturbing picture in towns and villages across Lancashire and Yorkshire. More than 300 flood alerts were put in place across the country, including 15 at the most severe level while the Met Office issued two of its most serious red weather warnings – danger to life – for the area. The storms – which brought almost a month’s precipitation in a single day in some places – were expected to die down early today, the Met Office said, with the band of rain that affected north England yesterday moving slowly south.

And here’s the kicker, via a Facebook post:

“This is an awful thing to happen to anybody at any time of year but over Christmas it must be really horrid. EU Solidarity Grants exist for just this sort of disaster, but for purely ideological reasons, combined with a hatred of the North, Cameron and his rotten government refuse to ask for it. So when you hear that there is no money available to help (but plenty to bomb Syrians) you know it’s just another Tory lie. My thoughts are with the victims of this flooding and I hope the weather up there improves.” – Davide Simonetti