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We DIDN'T get flooded! Answered

You may be aware of a tidal surge in the North Sea in the last 24 hours - a three-metre high bulge of water headed down the East Coast of Britain, flooding stuff as it went.

I live ten miles from the sea, but at midnight last night the police pushed a note through our door telling us to prepare to "defend life and property". Since they didn't supply sandbags, I was crawling around the house in the wee small hours duct-taping up air-bricks, door frames, the cat-flap etc, just in case. We moved the PC upstairs, and all our clothes and made a special effort to set my archos high-and-dry, since it contains our only irreplaceable possessions - about 25000 photos.

The tide rose, towns flooded ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7086396.stm ), the local quay filled up and overflowed, but the flood never quite got to us.

Ah well, all the excitement and none of the danger (except for crossing the bridge that was the only way out of the town I work in just as the river lapped against it). Colleagues from school got evacuated at 3am, and so many got cut off by the floods that we had to close school, so an extra day off for free.

Has anybody else narrowly avoided being a news headline?

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its a lion
its a lion

13 years ago

i was in a flood once. it was not fun. my dad took me and my brother up to my uncles since he lived up on the mountain. he then tried to come back to get my mom and grandmother, but the creek had already gone over the bridge. ok... i suppose i need to supply some background info on this. it was in '01 in west virginia. my grandmother lives by a creek, ~50 yards away. this creek is close to 10 feet wide, and at its deepest spot at the time, it was over 7 feet deep. there is a dropoff leading down to the creek that is about 10-12 feet high. that means that within 5 minutes, this creek had risen ~12-15 feet. It would later go on to rise another 5 or so feet. all of my family was ok. though one person did die. i dont remember why now... heart attack i believe, and of course there was no phone and no way to get paramedics over there (it washed the bridge out). one of my uncles lost his house. my great grandmother's house had to be condemned (she had died at the end of the previous year). it was... an experience. its definitely interesting to see a house get dislodged from its foundation. we did get a dog out of all of it though.

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Lftndbt
Lftndbt

13 years ago

Te he he! :) Sorry I know it's NOT funny but.... You had be chuckling over your running around duct taping the air-bricks. ;P I would imagine I would look rather humorous doing the same...

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Lftndbt
Lftndbt

Reply 13 years ago

Good ole' duct-tape!

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

It was funny in retrospect. Frustrating as the time, handling long strips of duct tape in a high wind by the light of a torch gripped between my knees.

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Lftndbt
Lftndbt

Reply 13 years ago

I can imagine..... I have a light weight steel frame carport ( 20kg all up) Last week in the wind it decided to break apart..... Me, high wind, steel sharp ended tubing collapsed on my new $23,000AU car getting more and more damaged every second I couldn't get it away/off the car.... I have no insurance either.... Really expensive for V8's for under 25's in AUS... :(

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

>eep< You're not allowed to own a (road) car without insurance in the UK - most young drivers drive their parents' cars, or buy small cheap cars and pay their cash value in insurance every year. They tend to pay ten times what I pay, and I've written off two cars. 49cc mopeds are very popular with teens/early 20s around here, because they're cheap to buy, run and insure. For us grown-ups, they're a source of amusement as well - they dress their mopeds up to look like "real" bikes, wear leathers and big helmets, hang around on corners trying to look cool for the girls, then drive off in groups sounding like slightly annoyed bumble-bees, hunched down to try and cut air-resistance so that they can reach nearly 30 miles an hour!

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Lftndbt
Lftndbt

Reply 13 years ago

Should have been more specific.... I have insurance.... It just covers other people's vehicle's, people injured and property.... Everything but my car.... :( Just no insurance to fix my car.... It's $450AU a year as opposed to if I wanted my car covered for damage .... It is $2800 a year.... V8's and under 25's are expensive... Te he he! I love my V8's!!

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chooseausername
chooseausername

13 years ago

But where this excess of water came from ?? Does it happen often ??? ( there is no noticeable tide in the Mediterranean ... )

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

The surge is down to a combination of high winds and a low-pressure system pushing a bulge of water ahead of it. As it heads south down the North Sea / English Channel it gets funnelled and piles higher.

This one was bad because it coincided with the local higher-than-normal tide, and it was heading directly down the coast.

The last time it happened this badly was 1953 , when about 2300 were killed by a surge that arrived without warning.

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chooseausername
chooseausername

Reply 13 years ago

That must be terrible to be woke up at midnight by the police because of a weather alert ... Where you afraid ? Did you panic ?

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

We were actually still awake. We didn't panic, we're not that kind of people, but it did cause concern - a lot of the advice given on the list was impossible to follow because it required shopping ("make sure you have bottled water"), and the policeman told us that the local authorities didn't have enough sandbags to go round (hence the duct tape around the doors).

We decided to work as if the flood was certain, and to reduce the emotional damage. Very few of our possessions have emotional links, and could easily be replaced (otherwise what's the point of home insurance?). As long as the boys and the photos were safe, and we had enough clothes and blankets certain to be dry, plus the wind-up radio and torch for news and vision, we knew we'd be fine.

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chooseausername
chooseausername

Reply 13 years ago

Maybe you could make and store some sandbags in your garden, just in case ?? =o)

I wonder what objects I would try to protect or to take with me if a catastrophe was going to happen here ...

Do you have pets ?

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

Fish in a pond - they'd have to fend for themselves. As for sandbags, I'd rather have something that takes less space in between floods. (Puts thinking cap on...)

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whatsisface
whatsisface

Reply 13 years ago

There is a collapsible "anti flood brick" that you place outside your home and it fills itself with the water from the storm, making it heavy enough to stop the water seeping through. It won an inventors award. I can't find a link on Google, but I did see it demonstrated on the news, ironically AFTER the floods.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

I'd have to come up with tailor-made devices to fit the exact dimensions of our home. I'd start with silicon-sealing the cat-flap (we don't have a cat), and I can picture a wedge arrangement that will seal the air-bricks. A rubber-edged-plank affair like chooseusername mentioned would do the doors, but my real concern is the drains - our drain outlets all come out of the wall a few inches above the ground. First to back-fill would be the shower (it's on the ground floor), closely-followed by the washing machine, the bidet and the downstairs toilet. It's a big project, and there's no point doing it piece-meal. The weekend's floods were the first of their kind since 1953, but we do sometimes get very heavy rain which drains slowly because the area is very flat. So, do I flood-proof the house, only to find I never need it, or do I leave things as they are, only to find the water up to my eyes just after Christmas?

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whatsisface
whatsisface

Reply 13 years ago

I guess it's always better to be safe than sorry, given the extent of this year's floods especially. Could you not fit one-way valves to your drainage pipes?

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

I thought that, but the design would have to be clog-free, and what about the toilet?

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chooseausername
chooseausername

Reply 13 years ago

When we got floods in various locations of my country, I remember some persons made and used some kind of "anti flood gates".

It was like adjustable boards with a kind of rubber on the edges. They put it outside, at the bottom of their entry doors ...
I remember some even put it on the gate of their garden ...

I don't know if it is really effective, but that's an idea =o)

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gmoon
gmoon

Reply 13 years ago

Wow. On first read, I didn't realize how serious this was for you. Good luck getting everything back to normal (yourselves included.)

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

We're fine, but others weren't so lucky - some people in Great Yarmouth had only just moved home after the last lot of big floods (they were due to rain last time).

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chooseausername
chooseausername

Reply 13 years ago

OK, I've read the news ... It's because of the conjunction of tide and storm ...

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KentsOkay
KentsOkay

13 years ago

This summer my state was flooding from what in my opinion is global warming induced weather patterns. Anyways all the towns around us were flooding, low water crossings uncrossable, and our dam(n) system was a foot or two from overflowing. Yah, it was a close shave...

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Brennn10
Brennn10

13 years ago

We had news headlines about our school. A Bomb threat, a kid tripping on acid, and cocaine cookies. Oh yea, we were on the news. Especially because the school I go to is recognized in the area as being pretty good.

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trebuchet03
trebuchet03

13 years ago

Has anybody else narrowly avoided being a news headline?

I was in S. Florida during Hurricane Andrew....

My city didn't get the brunt like Homestead, but it was still pretty scary.


Glad to hear things went well for you though :) Now awaiting instructable on how to prepare for bulges of flood water :p

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Goodhart
Goodhart

13 years ago

Hmm, I have on many occasions avoided becoming headline news, but mostly while in the car and driving (so they are only split second things).

There was one time, when I was a LOT younger (June 22, 1972), when hurricane Agnes came through: We are located down river to the scenes in the link. Fortunately we were also about 4 miles from the river and a bit up hill at that. Still our basement filled with about 4 inches of water (my room was down there, and it was a tremendous shock stepping out of my room into 4 inches of cold water). The sump pump had failed during the night. For a 14 year old, the storm was definitely "scary".

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ll.13
ll.13

13 years ago

Did you not know there was a severe weather warning issued by the Met office for northern Scotland? it's been blowing gales all yesterday and early today, thankfully it's stopped now. Oh, it's downed four trees in out immediate vicinity....

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 13 years ago

I think it's the same weather - your strong wind became our tidal surge.