Using the information below, write a newspaper article about the flooding in Tewksbury in July 2007.
In June and July 2007, there were several periods of extreme rainfall which gave rise to widespread flooding in England and parts of Wales. We experienced the wettest May to July since 1766 when reliable records were first collected. Approximately 49,000 households and nearly 7,000 businesses were flooded. Major infrastructure such as transport links, schools, power and water supplies were disrupted. Flooding was caused by drains, river channels and flood defences being overwhelmed by the extreme flows of water. This often happened very quickly and in these circumstances it is difficult to predict where flooding will occur.River flooding was extensive in the rivers Don, Severn and Thames and their tributaries. It would have been worse but for the protection given by our flood schemes. Effective warnings went directly to over 34,000 homes to help them cope with the floods. Some locations – notably on the river Severn between Tewkesbury and Gloucester, the Thames upstream of Oxford, and South Yorkshire suffered record breaking flood levels. Many flood defences were just overwhelmed. Many people who were flooded suffered trauma or lost irreplaceable personal belongings. Some are still living in temporary accommodation. We must not forget the victims of the floods, including those who died as a result of them.
Why did the Tewkesbury floods happen?Heavy rain on 20 July caused extensive flooding across the lower Severn catchment, and in many places river levels were the highest ever recorded. Across Tewkesbury, we recorded around 80-90mm of rain on 20 July, equivalent to almost two month’s rain in just one day. We recorded record flood levels in Tewkesbury as a result of exceptional flows in the River Teme and River Avon and heavy rainfall across Gloucestershire. River levels at the Mythe gauge reached a peak of 5.43m on 22 July. The previously highest recorded level was 5.3m in March 1947. Normal summer levels are around 0.5m. Properties were first flooded on 20 July from surface water that could not drain away quickly enough or from watercourses, which reacted quickly to the local run-off (including some main rivers such as the River Swilgate). Further flooding occurred over the weekend from main rivers, including the River Severn, Carrant Brook and River Avon. Some properties flooded twice, first from surface water then from rising river levels. The centre of Tewkesbury town was completely cut off from vehicles as a result of the floods.The July flood on the River Severn between Upton and Gloucester has been assessed as having between a 0.66 per cent and 0.5 per cent probability of occurring in any year.
What impact did the floods have?
How many properties were flooded? An estimated 810 properties were affected by flooding in Tewkesbury.
How did our flood defences perform during the floods? We have no raised flood defences at Tewkesbury.
How did the floods impact on our infrastructure? We provided advice relating to the erection of temporary defences at Severn Trent Water's Mythe Water Treatment Works. This was to enable the site to be pumped dry and make sure restoration work could start.
Quotes:Chief fire officer Terry Standing, said: "Since the worst of the flood-related calls started coming in around lunchtime Friday, the service has rescued over 200 people from flooded homes, trapped vehicles and other scenarios.One man at the centre, Darren Carr, 34, said: "We are tired, fed up and we don't know when we are going home. Everyone here has been brilliant in the way they have looked after us but we just want our own beds and a shower now."
"We were coming back from school when all of a sudden, WHOOSH, a huge wave came towards our house luckily it only destroyed our neighbours garden"
"Well we were on are way home and we just managed to get back from school at round about 1.00pm.I took the children to my Mum’s but by the time I got back I was in trouble because the water was 3 inches away from my house. I moved all my stuff from the bottom floor and escaped just in time".