The Floods - Looking Back on the Week

The latest news from yet another rainy day in Longhope is that we were never cut off from the mains water supply after all - which goes to show that we have been misled all these years into thinking that our water came from Tewkesbury, when in fact it comes from just up the road at Wigpool (thankfully for all of us).

Thankyou for ALL the messages that have been sent to this website, from both national and international wellwishers, expressing their concerns for the people of Longhope and the surrounding areas. Obviously, this area has been viewed from right around the world, and the majority of us here have been fortunate, compared to those in nearby Gloucester. It has been very upsetting for those of us with family and friends that live in the City, and it was only yesterday that the main A40 road via Highnam to Westgate was re-opened, because of the very high level of the River Severn.

One little girl in the village couldn't sleep last weekend after seeing the floods on television, in case her house became flooded like those in Gloucester! It might take floods of Noah proportions to reach Longhope, at around 200 feet above sea level!!

Now for the statistics: Gloucester has suffered severe flooding likened to the Great Flood of 1947 or worse, in fact it is being referred to as The New Great Flood. The rains began to fall in the early hours of last Friday and didn't relent until around 5pm that same day. It is estimated that over 100mm of rain fell in that time onto already waterlogged ground. It is said that from the beginning of May until now we have had nearly 400mm of rain, which beats all records going back 340 years and is the biggest natural disaster to ever befall Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire has had every service in the land made available to it, from the armed services, to the Gurkhas, the Red Cross, the RNLI, helicopters from Cornwall and Scotland, to the man in the street. The battle was on to restore the main water supply after the Mythe pumping station was put out of action by the flooding in Tewkesbury, but it was estimated that people would be without a water supply for two weeks. It was feared too that the whole area (including Longhope this time) would be without electricity if the huge sub-station at Walham became flooded. A massive operation was activated to save this from being swamped too, by cocooning it and pumping away the water along miles of hosing to The Docks. It worked, but only just!

To the rest of the world out there who are concerned, we in Longhope are ok! Several houses were flooded, but the water subsided as quickly as it came, so for these poor people, it is a case of drying out and refurbishment. We were never without a water supply, electricity or food. In some ways it has been quieter, without the constant rumble of lorries on the main road coming out of Gloucester, although there has been the occasional buzz of helicopters overhead ferrying the mass media who have all descended on the area. Most people have had a few extra days off work, but with the endless rain and nowhere to go, perhaps wasn't really a pleasant break at all. It is sad to see Gloucester in the news everytime the television is switched on, and all those poor souls with months of heartbreak and hard work ahead of them, but listening to the local radio, you get the sense of what it must have been like during the war years, and the stories that are told of life going on despite it all. Hopefully, this will never happen again?

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