Carlisle Floods Due To Poor River Maintenance, Not Climate Change
By Paul Homewood
It is just over a year since Storm Desmond brought devastating floods to Carlisle.
Soon after the Carlisle Flood Action Group was formed, and they have now published a very full and highly technical account of the floods.
This is the first part of the Executive Summary:
Although Storm Desmond was severe by any account (and the report later accepts that it may have been exacerbated by global warming), the real problem was lack of river maintenance and poor management. This of course is a rerun of the Somerset floods in 2014.
The report draws particular attention to the Botcherby Bridge, which crosses the River Petterill, a tributary of the River Eden, a short way downstream.
The accumulation of gravel and vegetation led to the water backing up, before overflowing the banks and outflanking the flood defences downstream.
The report describes the sequence of events:
The report goes on to describe similar problems at other pinch points along the river, and the build up of silt in the Solway Estuary, which prevents the River Eden from draining quickly enough in times of flood.
It also criticises the policy of re-wilding:
The report describes the government’s attempts to blame the floods on climate change as a “knee jerk run for cover to deflect criticism of inadequate river management and maintenance”, and goes on:
Just as with the Somerset floods, the Environment Agency has a lot of questions to answer.