The Cornish village of Coverack has sustained more than £1 million worth of damage after localised flash flooding late last month (July 18th) – and it seems that structural repairs are now an inevitability for both roads and buildings in the area.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the scenes were similar to what happened in Boscastle in August 2004 when a devastating flood hit this particular Cornish village.
On August 16th 13 years ago, very heavy rain fell in storms near the village and caused two rivers to burst their banks. What happened next was that around two billion litres of water charged down the valley, right into Boscastle itself – leaving residents with precious little time to react. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but buildings were badly damaged, cars were swept out to sea and millions of pounds worth of damage was caused.
Approximately 75mm of rain fell in two hours, which is the same amount that would typically fall for the entire month of August.
And now it seems as though similar has happened in Coverack, with an extensive clean-up campaign already launched to help repair the 50 or more properties damaged as a result.
Retained firefighter with Cornwall Fire Service Dale Reardon – discussing this latest Cornwall flood – said: “It was horrendous – just such a large amount of water in such a short time.”
Rising sea levels have been causing concern here in the UK from a flood perspective – with such worries leading the government to build the Thames Flood Barrier, the second biggest movable barrier of its kind in the world. Over the years, the UK’s flood defences in eastern England have been raised and strengthened to help protect against storm surges so coastlines and estuaries are now safer than ever.
Despite this, however, surges are still a threat as you can never fully guarantee complete protection when it comes to extremes of weather. But you should find some peace of mind in the fact that weather forecasting systems are better than ever as well, and authorities are alerted much quicker when danger is on the horizon.
Cornwall Council is now working in the village as part of a multi-agency partnership that was quickly set up to respond to the flash flood earlier this week. It was noted that this was a highly isolated event but one that will continue to affect the local people as they rebuild their businesses, homes and community.
All highway drains have been checked and cleared, amid concerns about the impact of further rain, while sandbags have now been delivered to the village. Funds have also been made available to those affected via the Cornwall Community Foundation – and residents are able to apply for a grant of up to £500 to help them pay for new equipment, furniture, carpets, food, clothes and more.