This weekend we were given a glimpse of how flooding can impact on your life with disasterous results and how having good neighbours who just happen to possess a digger and are prepared to get up and dressed having already retired for the night are worth their weight in gold! We live beneath a bank and the field on top finally had too much water last Saturday night, waterlogged it wept, no poured with great enthusiasm the excess onto the road that runs down the hill past our house and the water determined to get somewhere chose our house as its resting place.
Suddenly we have forgiven our dog and the four pairs of school shoes he has recently chewed chunks out of, and, the cobblers repair bill paled into insignificance as he barked like a good ‘un as the unfamiliar sound of running water outside our front door got louder. So we checked wondering who was outside and on the fourth occasion actually opened the door and there it was – a swimming pool of muddy, leafy beige water and rising!
Out with the shovels, and planking, and brushes and in fact anything that could be used to divert the water away from our front door as the rain continued to fall. It was a little like the scene from The River with Mel Gibson and Cissy Spacek, but only a little and the arrival of a digger to dig out mounds of earth from the bank and bolster up the planking to create a damn really helped!
Our neighbours have lived here for over twenty years and only once in that time has water from the mill race (did I mention we live opp. a mill?) reached across the road at the bottom of the hill but never has it run off the field above in such a waterfall. Sadly the storm drains were blocked with sludge and silt and were of no use whatsoever. We had partially unblocked ours a week ago with the help of a passing engineer who happened to have a bunce’s grab on the back of his van – (google it, they’re a great piece of kit) otherwise our hallway would have been saturated and our new carpets ruined.
So I’m grateful for good neighbours, the genorosity of passers by and our naughty dog who came up trumps! And I’m humbled by the thought of those people recently devasted by floods, who have lost their homes, whose lives have come to a halt whilst they deal with the devastation and also the troubling thought, that our climate is changing and this unexpected event may become the ‘norm’.