rivers case study: Boscastle floods-2004

notes on the 2004 Boscastle floods in cornwall UK for AQA rivers

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physical causes

  • 60mm of rain fell in 2 hours
  • ground already saturated from previous rainfall
  • rising tide
  • steep sloped river valley
  • small drainage basin
  • situated at a confluence of the rivers, Joden, Valency and Paradise
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human causes

  • urbanisation on floodplain
  • bridges act like dams during flood waters
  • channel of river valency to small to cope with large flood waters
  • old sewage system, not able to cope during floods
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Impacts- short term

  • 20 bed and breakfast's closed
  • 3 homes destroyed
  • 80 buildings damaged
  • 60 cars swept into sea
  • residents made homeless
  • contaimination from sewage
  • jobs lost
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impacts- long term

  • £25 million lost in business income
  • tourist income has increased in past 2 years
  • insurance premiums have risen
  • re-building took 6 months
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Responces- short term

  • 150 people airlifted to safety
  • village hall used to co-ordinate clean up operation
  • emergancy services treat people for minor injuries and shock
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Responces- long term

  • £10 million flood defence scheme which widened and deepened river channel of river valency.
  • old bridges replaced with higher bridges
  • car park raised in height
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