Saturday, 21 July 2007

Severe weather

On Thursday I heard that from midnight there was a severe weather warning for southern England. It was difficult to believe on such a peaceful evening.

The next morning we woke up to rain. It rained steadily at first and then the hardest rain I have ever seen. School was finishing early as it was the last day of term and late morning as I drove to the station to pick up my son from the train, water was just running down the road like a river. We drove up the hill to our home and I decided that before returning to work I ought to make sure that the chickens were not getting damp. Occasionally after very heavy rain, we get a couple of inches of water collecting at the end of the garden which stays for an hour or so but the coop was well away from that and I was sure they would be fine. It was just as well I checked, this is the view of my garden from an upstairs window.

I have never seen anything like this before, the whole garden was completely under water. Our part of the village is right on top of the hill, this was not water run off, this was just the sheer volume of water falling faster than it could drain away. You can just see the chicken coop on the right hand side, the poor things were completely flooded. They had had the sense to go to the top bit where they roost which was just as well because the whole of the door into their house was under water. There was nowhere dry to move them to, our shed had six inches of water in it, so I had to rescue them and bring them into the kitchen. You can imagine, wet frightened hens in a kitchen turns out to be a bit of a mess! After an hour or so the water level had gone down sufficiently to let them into the garden where they seemed to enjoy paddling.

Later in the afternoon we had bright sunshine and were able to get the coop dried out ready for the night. By this afternoon the water had completely gone so in a couple of days we should be able to move everything back to normal.

We got off lightly, the water didn't get in our house ( almost but not quite), we had no permanent damage and we were only without electricity for four hours. Also we all managed to get home. My husband managed to get trains to our local station just before they all stopped running in this area but it took him two hours and 25 miles to do the 2 mile drive from the station to home. Every route he tried to come home was flooded until he found one that was still passable. I heard on the news that some people are still at emergency centres with no way of getting home.

As we live in heated homes and can travel in watertight warm vehicles I think we forget how powerful the weather is. We make arrangements to travel and meet up with people, arranging times to the minute and assuming that everything will go according to our schedules, its not until something like this happens that we realise that we are not in control at all, the planet has the last word.


zane said...

It is an unnerving coincidence that I just finished writing about crazy weather on the west coast of Canada before reading your blog post, and another story of anomalous weather in central US on the homesteading blog, Sand Creek Almanac. What is going on? Glad your chickens are well...

the flour loft said...

Oh Willow,
Glad Sage and Onion were ok and that the water didn't reach your house. We were flooded badly last August in freak weather and needed flood restoration work. Luckily we were ok on Friday except the garden.. ours is lower than the surrounding gardens so even long after the rain had stopped our water level was rising.
Nature is so powerful and it amazes me how just a few inches of water in a property can do so much damage. My heart really goes out to all who have been affected. Unfortunately it seems this crazy weather is becoming the norm.
Enjoy your Victoria sponge.. We have made your vanilla ice cream.. it's lovely thank you.
Have a good 'dry' week.

Moonroot said...

Oh my, Willow, what a nasty scary thing to happen. We're hsalfway up a hill and seem to have been spared this time around, but last autumn a friend and I had a similar experience to your husband, when every route home seemed to be flooded. We thought we were going to have to check into a B&B for the night even though we were only a couple of miles from home. Such things really bring home our frailty in the face of natural forces.
Glad all was OK for you in the end.

carolyn said...

Just came over from The Flour Loft - so sorry to see the devastion the rain has caused - thank goodness everyone was safe and that it didn't reach your house.

Jenny said...

You poor things, all that water.