Boxing Day Floods

One of the tasks from the Wild Words course I did was to write about flooding. In York, in 2015, there were awful floods which affected many people and areas that aren’t usually flooded. York does flood regularly but this was the worst I’ve seen in.

Boxing Day Floods, York

Source: York Flood Inquiry

December 2015
wettest month
since records began
Ouse and Foss catchment

Boxing Day:
unprecedented situation on the Foss

                       weekend Bank Holiday
                       middle of Christmas

challenge escalates

27th BT exchange

loss of landlines internet
mobile phones
no electronic communication
                        misinformation can take hold

four hundred and fifty three
residential properties
one hundred and seventy four

remarkable efforts
generosity community spirit
assistance offered quickly
unstintingly. Donations
                       local, national

spontaneous volunteers
‘unwavering response from responders’
praised for dedication and contribution

thirteen thousand sandbags
                       builders’ merchants very helpful
                       opened depots on request

voluntary sector:
                        evacuation-meals-shelter-warmth-assisting with clean up-warehousing and distributing donated goods-practical emotional recovery support

no warning

‘Recovery from flooding does not simply end
when people move back into their homes.’

problems with insurance claims
managing builders
living in a state of disrepair

long-term issues identified:
                       respiratory problems made worse- mental health problems exacerbated-disruption to home-lost personal possessions-strain of moving in with family-strain of being separated from family-breakdown of relationships-financial pressures-lost ability to earn-went out of business

problems do not recede as quickly as water

York will flood again
an inevitability

‘York as a community would benefit from becoming more resilient
and better prepared for an emergency situation.’

One thought on “Boxing Day Floods”

  1. good morning helen (good afternoon to u!)

    wow…what a moving piece…such a full rounded sharing of the event…a catastrophe as it was happening, yet…ill share it was as i read that my heart grew heavier…

    not surprising why…’problems do not recede as quickly as water”.

    beautiful lady – u encapsulated a struggle that not only shared some impt information and knowledge about a particular event but did so in a way that i would be surprised if not every person who reads doesnt put themself in the moment of reading about a whole towns trauma into one of their own devastations and see the process they moved thru on a personal level. For me, it took me back as i began reading to the back to back hurricanes hit the shore town where my bungalow sits close to ten yrs ago now. But from there, it went deeper…

    helen…december 2015vwas one of the hardest months on the mini life that took me to a 2nd book, and im not surprised to see this from you this specific morn…i continue to feel you are a special agent angel sent from above for me. What I hope your gift of writing gives to others is same as it has given me since we crossed paths…being able to see you and feel you…thru your words…because when that happens…there is so much hope and potential to help so many in ways that far exceed just learning the facts about a particular event..which we know is so very important yes…always – and of course in this big world is hard for us each to know what is going on in the countries, let alone neighborhoods, cities and towns that make it up…but…you help others learn (dare i use that word…not sure is the right one but i think u will know what i mean) about their own selves, thus assisting them with their own individual lives…and that is such a beautyfull thing.

    I say a prayer the town has a long stretch before before stressed so heavily again.

    I hope you are doing well my friend. so good to see you in my inbox just now as i sit with my coffee. A damp rainy sunday after after a super sunny warm day yesterday. Funny, a reminder of how quickly things can change. For me…i wll choose to stay in the place that offers hope in that trueth and reality…not inspire dread.

    THANK YOU for your help with that on this day dear girl.


    ps – maybe a better way to describe is…help other discover something inside their own selves…or better, hopefully yet…remember, or reignite something about and within their own selves…something positive in an oft harsh difficult human world we live.


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