Posts Tagged ‘floods’

And the rain keeps tumbling down…

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

I spent three months sitting in an office with a man called Sustainability Steve who would regularly tell me that the world was going to end in the next 30 years and I think he might have a point. The world has been experiencing some strange weather recently that has caused a few problems for us unprepared humans. Sadly, over Christmas many people lost their homes and businesses through fires, floods and tornados and are having to pull their lives back together.

In England, steady rain over the Christmas period has brought extensive floods to the north of the country, and streets, houses and shops have found themselves underwater. It is terrifying to watch and I can’t even start to imagine how it must feel to have your house submerged in rising water.

debris manchester

Debris

The impact of the floods was even visible in central Manchester as the Irwell river broke its banks quite close to my old apartment. What was a pleasant paved boardwalk became a beach with piles of debris that had floated down stream stuck to railings, benches and posts.

Manchester

New Manchester beach

One of my favourite local pubs, the Mark Addy, was essentially washed away as it’s position down in the basin of the Irwell turned out not to be such a good idea. My brother and I had a pint at that pub two Christmases ago. It is so sad to see it destroyed.

The Mark Addy

The Mark Addy

Another storm (it’s name is Frank.) is currently hitting the north of the UK and I suspect there are a few anxious people hoping their homes don’t get flooded again. Not fun.

Hello, Snow.

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Everyone has been talking about the storms that have swept across the UK and caused terrible flooding in the south of England and Wales. Living conditions have been terrible as people’s houses have filled with water, streets have flooded and farm land has become water logged. For the past few weeks as I listen to BBC4 Radio and hear the news in the morning, the stories have focussed on the latest storms to hit England the night before. Not good.

Meanwhile, up in usually-soggy Manchester, it isn’t raining as much. Clearly I was right and everyone who said, ‘Why do you want to live in Manchester?!’ was wrong. Manchester may be wet for the majority of the year, but at least it hasn’t flooded.

We did, however, get a hit of this white stuff.

Yes, sir. I do believe that is snow.

Yes, sir. I do believe that is snow.

It was 5.15pm last Tuesday and I had just left work. From the tenth floor of the Co-Op building I had spotted a very black sky drawing rapidly closer. A snow cloud looks different to a rain cloud – it is a deeper, almost purple black and it looks MEAN. If it had a face it would be smirking, it’s eyes piercing in the corners as it moves confidently towards you, a black cape billowing behind. The wind rapidly increases, picking up girls’ skirts, inverting umbrellas and making people stop and stare at the sky. What is coming? When will it hit? And then it does.

I stood under the eaves of the Next clothing store as the snow started to fall. However, as the wind picked up and blew the snow under the eaves and in through the doors of Next, I hurried inside and watched from the safety of the affordably-priced shop. I watched as a Spanish man insisted on finishing his cigarette, huddled against the outside window, being battered by snow and strong winds before seeking shelter.

I cut through Next and took the back exit that led me into the depths of the Arndale Shopping Centre. Normally a place that I avoid, the Arndale offered me solace from the storm outside. However I had an appointment to make and I had to venture back out into the wild, pushing my umbrella against the overpowering winds, my black jacket becoming speckled with white fluff. I did stop and smile – snow is magical even when it is piercing your eyes with sharp shards of ice. It is so much easier to handle and less annoying than rain, although I have noticed it makes the footpaths particularly slippery. (which, for someone with zero sense of balance such as myself, is not good.)

The storm passed as quickly as it came but patches of white ice were still around the following morning. I am pleased to have seen snow this winter but I won’t be that upset if that was it and Spring now rolls in. I have spotted some crocuses poking theirs heads out of the ground in my local park and there are buds forming on trees. These are good signs but I am keeping my hopes low until it is warm enough for me to get my ridiculously white legs out. So not until I move back to Australia essentially.