The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Depression Grows as Storms Let Rip

05 February 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
The severity and persistence of the series of low depression weather systems sweeping across the West and Southern parts of England, Wales and Scotland, and the allegations of poor performance by the Environment Agency and the government, have dominated headlines.

The Environment Agency’s head, Chris Smith, has come under great criticism for his rather tepid response to the crisis, especially when it came to the West Country, notably in Somerset. While he talked about visiting in a couple of weeks and the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, said he would wait for a report in six weeks, Prince Charles appeared to win over suffering residents by showing his face and offering £50,000 in relief.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stated there would be an additional £100 million for flood works with £75 million over the next year and £10 million earmarked for Somerset which has been hit particularly badly.

Flooding has not been the only problem. Western Power Distribution has stated that 44,000 of its customers had suffered from power cuts since this Tuesday afternoon (4 February) with 9,680 having no power at all across the South West. Cornwall was particularly badly affected with 7,800 customers having no electricity.

While fingers of blame are being pointed at the government for its cuts in funding of the Environment Agency and of the latter’s languid response at the top, there are a number of guides available that offer advice in how to deal with these extreme events, particularly in flooding.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a source of some help to owners and FMs of buildings. In terms of the best scenario, building in defences to a new building is the ideal option. Retrofitting into existing buildings is possible but there are inherent problems, especially in coastal areas. RIBA has published 07 Designing for Flood Risk Climate Change Toolkit which is in PDF format and can be downloaded. There is also its 2008 RIBA PRACTICE BULLETIN - No. 45, along with other guidance on the subject. Visit:

The damage is forecast to continue with further storms well into next week, wrecking buildings and infrastructure, along with a number of public figures’ reputation.

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 05 February 2014


Related Tags

Related Articles

2022 Hottest Year on Record

The Met Office has confirmed that 2022 was the UK’s hottest year on record, with an average temperature of over 10°C recorded for the first time. The full UK...

 Read Full Article
What Happens if a Drought is Declared in England?

As people are urged to restrict their water use to protect supplies during the current heatwave, what would it practically mean for businesses if a drought is...

 Read Full Article
Climate Change and Security Officer Wellbeing

Rises in the cost of living, extreme weather changes and geopolitical upheaval are all factors that will have both long and short term effects on the wellbeing of...

 Read Full Article
Saharan Dust Moves Across UK

A storm carrying Saharan dust is causing hazy skies and layers of orange-coloured dust across southern England.   What is Saharan Dust?   Saharan...

 Read Full Article
Storm Eunice Damage to O2 Roof – Twitter Reacts

Images from social media show that several panels of London’s O2 Arena's roof were destroyed by gales. Photographs show a major tear to the roof of the...

 Read Full Article
Storm Eunice – Met Office Announces Red Weather Warning

A rare red weather warning for parts of the southwest has been issued by the Met Office, as significant gusts in excess of 90mph are expected. Latest warnings are...

 Read Full Article
No Space For Complacency – Storm Contingency Plans

Vicky Lopez, co-founder and director of De-ice, provides her advice on storm contingency planning for UK Businesses Given the relatively uneventful winter we have seen...

 Read Full Article
Could The Weather Turn As Slippery As Our Politicians?

With the election fast approaching, what's the worst that could happen for those responsible for keeping the polling booths open on the big day? Well, the weather...

 Read Full Article
Hot, Hot, Hot - Bye, Bye To Hottest Decade

As we ring in the New Year, we will also be ringing out the warmest decade on record. And when viewed alongside 2016, the warmest year on record and dominated by a...

 Read Full Article
The Weather Cockpit Pilots Gritting Service

A winter gritting service provider have formed a partnership with UBIMET, a global provider of meteorological forecast systems and information, to bring customers The...

 Read Full Article