Tag Archive: Flooding


rigorousintuition.ca • View topic - The Drowned World

The Drowned World by JG Ballard

Hat tip to semper occultus & seemslikeadream at Rigorous Intuition:

It’s a funny old world…….whilst California’s Drought Could Be the Worst in 500 Years a relentless Atlantic weather system deposits ever more rainfall into a totally saturated UK hydrological system – encroaching ever nearer to her Maj herself ensconced in her castle of darkness ….hence a sudden burst of army & navy personnel with sandbags near Windsor as the river level swells over the banks…. ImageFlooding nearby: Swans swim in sight of Windsor Castle where the river Thames has burst its banks in an area known as The Brocas in Eton, Berkshire

www.dailymail.co.uk

…and also effecting nearby Shepperton……

Image
From above: Aerial view showing flooding covering Shepperton, Surrey. The Thames has hit record levels causing extensive flooding to parts of the South-East

…which is sort of resonant as Shepperton’s most notable resident was JG Ballard – author of the 60’s new wave sci-fi novel The Drowned World about survivors in a post apocalyptic submerged London…

Set in the year 2145 in a post-apocalyptic and unrecognisable London, ‘The Drowned World’ is a setting of tropical temperatures, flooding and accelerated evolution. Ballard’s story follows the biologist Dr Robert Kerans and his struggles against the devolutionary impulses of the environment.

Will Self on JG Ballard’s ‘The Drowned World’
JG Ballard’s recently reissued masterpiece, ‘The Drowned World’, shows him to be the most important British writer of the late 20th century, says Will Self.By Will Self / 7:00AM BST 31 Aug 2013London has been flooded many times. Until the late 19th century, and the construction of the Thames embankments as part of Joseph Bazalgette’s grand sewerage works, the high-water mark of the tidal river was an arbitrary dividing line between liquid and solid. All along the river’s banks there was a fretwork of jetties and inlets, and when the waters rose too high they would inundate the streets.

Even after the embanking, in 1928, a flood breached the parapets in Westminster and surged into the impoverished streets around Millbank, drowning 14 people. During the great North Sea floods of 1953, London was relatively unscathed – although in the East End, Canning Town went under the waters, while still further downriver Canvey Island was entirely inundated, with the loss of 58 lives. This event led directly to the construction of the present Thames Barrier, the centrepiece of which is a series of silver-cowled sluice gates ranging across the river between Silvertown and Charlton; structures that resemble – for all their obvious utility – sections of the Sydney Opera House, disarticulated and marooned on the riverbed.

The barrier was completed in the early Eighties, and since then has been employed with greater and greater frequency as combinations of storm surges and high equinoctial tides have threatened the city. Many believe these historically high water levels are a result of global warming, a climatologic phenomenon widely thought to be caused by human activity, specifically the release of so-called greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. But whatever the new, physical threat to London, the city has felt itself to be psychically vulnerable for centuries.

In his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841, Charles Mackay recounted the great panic of 1524. This followed the prophecies of numerous soothsayers and astrologers in the previous year, who all concurred that “on the first day of February… the waters of the Thames would swell to such a height as to overflow the whole city of London, and wash away ten thousand houses”.

According to Mackay the panic was both widespread and no respecter of class: “By the middle of January at least 20,000 persons had quitted the doomed city, leaving nothing but the bare walls of their homes to be swept away by the impending floods.” Among them was the prior of St Bartholomew’s, who “erected, at a very great expense, a sort of fortress at Harrow-on-the-Hill which he stocked with provisions for two months”.

In the event, of course, the deluge failed to materialise, and the shamefaced Londoners returned to the city, their anxiety converted into a rage that they would have vented on the erring Cassandras, were it not that “they asserted that, by an error (a very slight one) of a little figure, they had fixed the date of this awful inundation a whole century too early”. The inaccurate foretelling of the great flood was surely only a correlate of popular fears about the growth of the city itself: since the medieval period, London’s burgeoning size has been a cause of anxiety, uneasiness reflected in its purulent sobriquet “The Great Wen”.

The biblical root of this desire to sluice the streets of their infective inhabitants and so purify the city is obvious. In fiction, the inclination to flood London has remained perennial, reaching its modern apogee during the upsurge of scientific romances published in the last decades of the 19th century.

Richard Jefferies’s After London (1885) is a post-apocalyptic novel that foresees an England returned to a medieval level of social organisation and technological sophistication. The centre of the country is covered by a great lake, and the novel’s wayward protagonist, Felix, ventures over these waters and then into the miasmic swamps which now cover London. “During his advance into this region in the canoe he had in fact become slowly stupefied by the poisonous vapour he had inhaled. His mind was partly in abeyance; it acted, but only after some time had elapsed. He now at last began to realise his position; the finding of the heap of blackened money touched a chord of memory. These skeletons were the miserable relics of men who had ventured, in search of ancient treasures, into the deadly marshes over the sight of the mightiest city of former days. The deserted and utterly extinct city of London was under his feet.” ..cont…

www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/

rigorousintuition.ca • View topic – The Drowned World

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Latest Round Of Snow May Set Record:

CHICAGO (CBS) – A brief snowstorm swooped into the area early Friday, putting Chicago within a fraction of an inch of the snowiest February ever.

The National Weather Service measured 0.4 inch of snow at O’Hare–and with more snow expected tonight, the more than 100-year-old record could fall this weekend.

…  The greatest amount of snow recorded in the month of February in Chicago was the 27.8 inches in 1896, according to the National Weather Service. This February is now about 0.4 inches behind that.

Heavy Snow, Rain Targeting Northeast, Atlantic Canada:

A strengthening storm is spreading a swath of heavy snow, flooding rain and increasing wind across the Northeast, with conditions across Atlantic Canada expected to deteriorate.

It is the same storm that brought damaging severe weather and tornadoes to the South Central states Thursday night.

The storm is bringing a plethora of weather to parts of the Midwest and Northeast today, while Atlantic Canada will experience difficult travel conditions tonight into Saturday.

3 Amish kids swept to deaths in swollen creek:

MAYFIELD, Ky. — The bodies of three Amish children were found early Friday after their horse-drawn buggy overturned in a creek swollen by heavy rains in southwestern Kentucky. A fourth child was still missing.

A mother and her six children were trying to cross the creek on a roadway Thursday when the accident happened.

The woman and two of her children escaped but three girls and a boy were swept away.NBC station WSMV-TV reported that they were aged 11, 5, 8 and 6 months old.

And in other icey news: Ice-age child’s remains discovered in Alaska…

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=5654

Entire Town of Wenden Underwater After Storm | Powerful Winter Storm Hits Arizona

Surge of runoff floods streets, homes

A 2-foot surge of runoff from a powerful winter storm early Friday morning flooded streets and an unknown number of homes in the western Arizona community of Wenden.

Lt. Glenn Gilbert of the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office says no one was reported missing or injured.

An unknown number of people were evacuated from their homes.

The flooding receded late Thursday, but returned several hours later when a surge of runoff came through a nearby wash. The flooding hadn’t slackened by 8 a.m. Friday.

Gilbert says a crew in a Marine Corps helicopter was flying over the area in case anyone had been swept away or stranded.

The community of 500 people about 100 miles west of Phoenix was hit by a more severe flood in 2000.

Click here for full coverage on the storm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00464/articleplayer_19025_464923a.swf?videoid=51706348001

‘Rain like this happens once every 1,000 years’

Steve Bird and Lindsay McIntosh

The full and devastating impact of England’s worst recorded day of rain was still emerging last night as tributes were paid to a policeman swept away by floodwaters while trying to save others.

PC Bill Barker was helping motorists stranded on a bridge over the Derwent in the Cumbrian town of Workington when it collapsed. His body was discovered hours later on a nearby beach.

The Environment Agency said that the flooding across the region was so severe that such an event was likely to happen only once in 1,000 years. The rainfall, on to an already saturated terrain, was the highest level measured in England since records began. Meteorologists recorded 314mm (12in) of rain in 24 hours and flood warnings remained in place across the North West of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The bridge from which PC Barker fell to his death was one of at least four to be washed away. Cumbria County Council issued a warning to motorists and pedestrians to avoid using such crossings as they could be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of homes and businesses were evacuated, many of them ruined by floodwater and mud.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6926363.ece

 aquapoc091002

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — The Philippines declared a national “state of calamity” as Typhoon Parma headed for Luzon, where recovery efforts continue six days after Tropical Storm Ketsana devastated Manila and its surroundings, leaving 293 people dead.

Authorities began moving people from provinces north and southeast of Manila into shelters, Philippine Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said in an interview on ABS-CBN television. The nationwide state of calamity gives the government the power to peg the price of basic goods.

Parma’s eye was 254 kilometers (158 miles) northeast of the city of Daet on Luzon at 2 p.m. Manila time today, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said. The typhoon is forecast to make landfall after 8 a.m. tomorrow.

The typhoon will bring more rain to areas already devastated by Ketsana, which earlier this week left more than 100 people dead in Vietnam and Cambodia. In Indonesia, rescue workers are searching for survivors in Padang in Sumatra, where an earthquake two days ago left 230 people dead. In the South Pacific, a recovery operation is under way after a tsunami killed more than 150.

“It is almost unprecedented for any region to experience so many disasters over such a short period of time,” United Nations Under-Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer said in a statement. “The disasters of the past week remind us that the Asia Pacific is the worlds’ disaster hot spot.”

Devastating Damage

Parma’s winds decreased to 222 kilometers per hour from 241 yesterday. The typhoon remains a Category 4 storm, the second- strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and is forecast to weaken slightly before making landfall, according to the center.

Category 4 storms are capable of causing “devastating damage” and can blow roofs off residential buildings, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Read the rest of the article here:

Philippines Declares ‘State of Calamity’ as Typhoon Approaches – Bloomberg.com

FARGO, N.D. – Thousands of shivering, tired residents got out while they could and others prayed that miles of sandbagged levees would hold Friday as the surging Red River threatened to unleash the biggest flood North Dakota‘s largest city has ever seen.

The agonizing decision to stay or go came as the final hours ticked down before an expected crest Saturday evening, when the ice-laden river could climb as high as 43 feet, nearly 3 feet higher than the record set 112 years ago.

This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, shows a helicopter rescue crew“It’s to the point now where I think we’ve done everything we can,” said resident Dave Davis, whose neighborhood was filled with backhoes and tractors building an earthen levee. “The only thing now is divine intervention.”

Even after the floodwaters crest, the water may not begin receding before Wednesday, creating a lingering risk of a catastrophic failure in levees put together mostly by volunteers.

National Guard troops fanned out in the bitter cold to inspect floodwalls for leaks and weak spots, and residents piled sandbags on top of 12 miles of snow-covered dikes. The freezing weather froze the bags solid, turning them into what townspeople hoped would be a watertight barrier.

Hundreds more Guard troops poured in from around the state and neighboring South Dakota, along with scores of American Red Cross workers from as far away as Modesto, Calif.

Homeowners, students and small armies of other volunteers filled sandbags in temperatures that barely rose into the double digits.

The river swelled Friday to 40.67 feet — more than 22 feet above flood stage and beyond the previous high-water mark of 40.1 feet in 1897. In one flooded neighborhood, a man paddled a canoe through ice floes and swirling currents.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker cautiously expressed hope that the river would stay below 43 feet — the limit of the reinforced dikes. Walaker said there was not enough time to build the levees any higher.

Fargo escaped devastation from flooding in 1997, when Grand Forks was ravaged by a historic flood 70 miles to the north. This year, the river has been swollen by heavier-than-average winter snows, combined with an early freeze last fall that locked a lot of moisture into the soil. The threat has been made worse by spring rains.

Entire article here:

Thousands flee Fargo ahead of menacing floodwaters

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