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

Thursday, 4 June

Depression Grows as Storms Let Rip

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


Related Tags

Related Articles

Chief Weather Forecaster's Assessment

Between 3:00pm and 10:00pm on Mon October 16 a spell of very windy weather is expected over parts of the UK - Northern Ireland and the north of Scotland are likely to be...

 Read Full Article
National Severe Weather Warning

After a week of typically autumnal weather – with foggy nights, pleasant sunshine and periods of wind and rain – a more unsettled spell of weather looks...

 Read Full Article
Come On Aileen, Brian, Caroline, Dylan

Following Storm Aileen, the next 21 storm names have been announced so you know who will be trying to knock things on or off your building from now to 2018 . The Met...

 Read Full Article
See You All at ExCel?

We have busted through the mercury, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees with wall to wall sunshine for most of us, writes Vicky Lopez. I expect many of you are...

 Read Full Article
Ewan Believe It

Storm Ewan was named by Met Éireann, the Irish Met service, as the fifth named storm of the season on Saturday Feb 25 night. Storm Ewan brought strong winds to...

 Read Full Article
Coughing-up the Truth On London Air Quality

Responding to the issuing of the first ‘Very High’ air pollution alert since he became Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “The shameful state of...

 Read Full Article
Outlook for Thursday to Saturday

Outlook for Thursday to Saturday Colder and windier for all on Thursday and Friday, with sunny spells by day and frosty nights. Winds easing into Saturday with showery...

 Read Full Article
Flooding - Training to be Put to Test?

The Environment Agency has tested new flood technology as part of a winter readiness training exercise involving 1,000 staff. Teams across England experimented with...

 Read Full Article
Blowing in the Wind, Snow and Severe Weather Warnings

The Met Office has said it will turn cold and windy as a Polar maritime airmass, with its origins over northern Canada, moves into northern Scotland and then south across...

 Read Full Article
It's Hot - Quasi-Biennial Oscillation is Not

Warnings have been issued by Public Health England (PHE) following forecasts of hot weather for the coming days and nights. PHE issued the warnings on Monday 12, the...

 Read Full Article