Flooding local scale case study: Helston 2012

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Earth hazards revision
Flooding local scale case study Helston 2012
Catchment size/shape- small catchment containing a small river so flooding
is unlikely. Catchment shape is long and thin so risk of flooding is low.
Geology- granite in upper course leading to high surface run off and
flooding as it's impermeable. Slate in middle/lower course is more
susceptible to erosion and permeable so risk decreases.
Urbanisation/rurality- flooding occurs in urban area of lower Helston due
to higher surface run off from impermeable surfaces and more obstructions
in the river such as arched bridges. Rest of river is rural so surface run
off from farmland is possible.
Valley steepness- steep in places increasing surface runoff such as in lower
Helston where the area sits on a floodplain surrounded by steep slopes and
hence is at highest risk of flooding.
Precipitation- high rainfall which is intense and prolonged creating
saturated ground and higher risks of flooding
120 homes in lower Helston flooded, cars left stranded
High volume of emergency calls so calls had to be prioritised to life
threatening cases
8000 litres of water pumped from St. Johns street
Travel around Helston disrupted due to flooded roads
River rose over 2m in places where normal level is around 50cm
Short term
Environment agency pumped water from Loe Pool using 2 temporary pumps
to try and prevent water from backing up into the town
Rescue centre set up to help those displaced by flooding
200 people evacuated
23 fire engines work to save houses from flooding
Met office issued amber warning for heavy rain
Environment agency issued a severe flood warning for Helston, 1 of 4 in the
country at the time
Shelter box donated blankets to those evacuated
Specialist water crews carry out door to door visits to offer support to
local residents
Food donated to those evacuated

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Earth hazards revision
Temporary homes given to those unable to return due to flood damage
Long term
Flood management in terms of channel maintenance which is only carried out
where it is essential to control flood risks
Investigation of links between land management practices, run off and flood
risk. Land management schemes considered to reduce flood risks in the
Local meetings held to raise awareness of how to prepare for a flood and to
discuss how to prevent future flooding in Helston.…read more


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