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3rd anniversary of June 2007 floods

Paul Hudson | 14:06 UK time, Friday, 25 June 2010

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the worst summer floods ever to hit Yorkshire.

Averaged over England and Wales, June 2007 turned out to be the wettest since 1860.

The period in June 2007 that brought severe flooding to large parts of Yorkshire was the wettest 12 day summer period ever recorded in the county.

Interestingly June 1982 was even wetter than June 2007. But in 1982, heavy downpours were more evenly spread throughout the month whereas in 2007 the rain was concentrated in a much shorter time period, resulting in flooding that was far worse and more widespread than anything experienced in 1982.

I visited Filey earlier this week. The Muston road area has suffered flooding 3 times in 8 years: In 2000, 2002 and 2007 localised torrential rainfall left sewers unable to cope, leading to flash flooding of local properties.

It's becoming a common problem. This part of Filey used to be agricultural land. But the need for new housing has lead to extensive development. So when torrential downpours occur, the rainwater runs off much more quickly than it used to do, leaving local sewers overwhelmed.

Up and down the country, urbanisation is leading to more and more incidents of flash flooding, and it's often too easy for the media to blame it on climate change. It's true to say that if climate projections are correct for the UK, a warmer climate will lead to heavier rainfall. But urbanisation is a significant factor in the increased incidents of localised flash flooding.

Yorkshire Water, who are ultimately responsible for surface water drainage think they have come up with a solution - in Filey at least.

Storage.jpg

They've spent over £2 million pounds building a flood water storage tank that holds 1.1 million litres of water - by volume its half the size of an Olympic swimming pool and is designed to hold excess water that the sewers can't cope with until the storm abates, slowly releasing the water back into the sewer system when the rain stops falling.

It's a fear that many people who have been flooded have; every time it rains, will it happen again? After 3 floods in 8 years, the residents will be hoping that the next time a downpour affects Filey, they can be a little more relaxed about the risks of 4th flash flood hitting Muston Road.

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