Case study - Somerset Levels

  • Created by: mbull
  • Created on: 14-01-18 09:56
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  • Case Study - Somerset Levels
    • When
      • 11th January 2014
    • Where
      • Country of Somerset
      • South West England
      • Between hills and close to several rivers
    • It is an area of flat land which is easily flooded
      • The rain from the hills flow onto the floodplain
        • Causes extreme floods
    • Why did they flood?
      • It was the wettest January since 1910
      • A succession of depressions (areas of low pressure) were driven across the Atlantic Ocean
        • Brought a period of wet weather lasting several weeks
      • High tides and storm surges swept water up the rivers from the Bristol Channel
        • Prevented fresh water reaching the sea
        • Spilled over water banks
      • Rivers have not been dredged for 20 years
        • Has become clogged with sediment
    • Impacts
      • Social
        • Over 600 houses flooded
        • 16 farms evacuated
        • Residents evacuated to temporary accommodation for several months
        • Villages cut off
        • Many power supplies cut off
      • Economic
        • Somerset Country Council estimated the cost of flood damage to be more than £10 million
        • Over 14,000 ha of agricultural land under water for 3-4 weeks
        • Local roads cut off by loods
        • Railway lines closed
        • Over 1,000 livestock evacuated
      • Environmental
        • Floodwaters were heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants including oil and chemicals
        • A huge amount of debris had to be cleared
        • Stagnant water that had collected for months had to reoxygenated before being pumped back into the rivers.
    • Long term responses
      • 8km of the Rivers Tone and Parrett were dredged
        • Makes river deeper
          • Less silt
        • Less risk of damage by floods
        • Makes a mess - mud, banks erode, cost
      • Road levels have been raised
        • Maintain communications and enable businesses to continue
          • Makes transport easier when there is a flood
          • Costs a lot of money for local tax payers
      • River banks raised
        • Take longer for water to rise and flood
          • More protection from damage of flooding
          • Cost
      • A tidal barrage may be built at Bridgwater
        • Could hold back the water and stop flooding
        • Stop damage and devastation
        • Costs lots of money and it would take a long time




Somerset is a county, not a countr




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