Thursday, 30 January 2014

"Looking back into the mists of time"

From the BBC:

... Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger dismissed the claims that the rain would have overwhelmed the river system even if it had been dredged as "pathetic".

"It is an absolutely ridiculous excuse," he said. "This never flooded to this level ever in living memory, and we've got people who have been here for a long time. If you look back into the mists of time you don't have this."

Let's have a look back into the mists of Wiki:

The Somerset Levels.. is a sparsely populated coastal plain and wetland area of central Somerset, South West England, running south from the Mendip Hills to the Blackdown Hills...

The Somerset Levels consist of marine clay "levels" along the coast, and inland (often peat-based) "moors"; agriculturally, about 70 percent is used as grassland and the rest is arable...

One explanation for the county of Somerset's name is that, in prehistory, because of winter flooding people restricted their use of the Levels to the summer, leading to a derivation from Sumorsaete, meaning land of the summer people...

People have been draining the area since before the Domesday Book. In the Middle Ages, the monasteries of Glastonbury, Athelney and Muchelney were responsible for much of the drainage.

The artificial Huntspill River was constructed during the Second World War as a reservoir, although it also serves as a drainage channel. The Sowy River between the River Parrett and King's Sedgemoor Drain was completed in 1972; water levels are managed by the Levels internal drainage boards.

Do MPs not even do the most cursory background reading about the area they are supposed to be representing?


Bayard said...

"This never flooded to this level ever in living memory"

They're either very short lived in Somerset, or very forgetful, because I can remember worse flooding than what there is currently and I'm no Methuselah.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, I was waiting for you to drop in and say something like that, thanks for extra info.