July 25, 2007

New Orleans Replay in England

Watching TV coverage of flooded communities in England and listening to the stories of displaced people is like a replay of New Orleans. As when we were in Houston, the natural disaster is distanced from our London home but still feels too close for comfort.

Since moving here many American friends have asked me if England is always rainy. Up until about six weeks ago my answer was, "no, it is beautiful, warm and sunny." We had summer in April. Now that has all changed. The weather is unseasonably rainy and cold in contrast to last summer which was hot and muggy in London.

Is this global warming or a natural cycle? Weather reporters say that there were floods like this forty and sixty years ago. Is it that housing keeps getting built on flood zones, too close to flowing water? Is it over farming of the land, raising the water table and making it impossible for the ground to soak up any more water? Is it because rivers are damned, diverted or clogged? I suppose a combination of these factors.

No need to worry about our flat as we are on the first floor - which is really the second floor in American English terms.