Friday, August 24, 2007

After the flood...

Keen readers, of which there are none, will remember that it was a little bit damp around these parts back in June. After the storm there was a further storm, during which people shouted that is wasn't all the fault of Mother Nature but blocked gulleys that had never been cleaned. Before the floods nobody even knew what a gulley was and now, well, everyone's a fucking drainage expert it seems.
But... an interim report published today, while stating the bleedin' obvious that the drains were "overwhelmed" (you don't say!), points out that blocked gulleys had nuttin' to do with (or, at least, were not a major factor in) 7,000 homes being trashed by the deluge of wet stuff. Although that didn't stop a woman on the radio this morning harping on about how she'd never, ever, not once seen the gulleys cleaned down her street in the seven years she'd lived there. Was she permanently looking out of the window on gulley cleaning watch for seven years? Or, perhaps, was she out the day they came? And why hasn't she heeded the report's findings? It WASN'T the gulleys, you silly woman, let it go!
Nobody's to blame, says the report, written by leading boffins at the University of Hull, it was just a storm greater than any other in 150 years. How do you plan for that? Well, you can't, can you, although the report also points out that the city's pumping system is cause for concern. But, if everywhere flooded, Mr Academia, can you tell me where you would actually pump water to? Rising water levels don't really leave a lot of options, do they?
Naturally, the local meedja is once again whittering on about drains because they made such an overwhelming fuss about drains in the first place. They'll still be going on about drains from their submersible newsrooms when this low-lying city disappears completely underwater, I should think. Five million people live in two million houses that are at risk from flooding. Floods will, inevitably, happen. Thus, houses will be flooded. There's no need, nor much point, in blaming drains and gulleys and flood plains and house builders and planning officers. Although, ooh, I'm so excited about the full report in November to read WHODUNNIT.
Natural disasters do leave those that rely on black-and-white facts scratching their heads, whether they be academics, hapless local councillors or journalists. Shit happens, doesn't it? And more shit will happen in the future. And it still won't be anyone's fault.


bazza27 said...

It is a well known fact that when something goes wrong in Hull it is either the Council's fault or something to do with immigrants, we know this because the hull daily mail tells us so. It is irresponsible of you to suggest otherwise, you will just confuse people.

Anonymous said...

You've got nothing against hull daily mail then!
Did they not pay you enough or something!