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Reader Letter: Is Norwich prepared for flooding?

PUBLISHED: 13:41 11 September 2017

Foundary Bridge on Prince of Wales Road crossing the River Wensum. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Foundary Bridge on Prince of Wales Road crossing the River Wensum. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

The devastation that flooding has caused on a biblical scale by the tropical storm Harvey at Houston makes me wonder whether this has come about by global warming that is denied by President Trump and are we to be concerned in East Anglia if we had the misfortune to have a similar freak storm here in the future?

With all the vast resources and wealth the USA has and its experience over the years of dealing with similar but not as powerful storms as Harvey it has come as a shock at the complete breakdown and lack of a plan to deal with such a storm and the inhabitants being at times left on their own to cope at the start.

Here in East Anglia our flood plans are concentrated on the coastal regions and inland our emergency plans, resources and practice exercises are all concentrated on the after effects of terrorism and the hospitals dealing with the casualties and not simply rescuing and moving great numbers of people to safety to temporary places to live.

If we had in Norwich the amount of rain that fell on Houston in such a short time we would be in trouble because the River Wensum would flood in hours simply because miles of the river bank in the city has been concreted over to the river’s edge and because of no dredging for years is now at a record low depth.

The days of having small coasters laden with wood coming up the river to Jarrold’s wood yard past Fye Bridge at high tide are long gone and will not return and neither will the earth and grass on the river banks.

I hope that our authorities have a theoretical plan on one of their many computers on how to deal with such flooding if it occurs here because no one will ever be able to forecast what nature will throw at us.

David M Coe, Rosebery Road, Norwich


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