The Flood part 2 – Saturday morning

Continuing my personal story of the floods which devastated Gloucestershire exactly five years ago…

I was realistic about our chances of getting away the following morning. As we went to bed and it was STILL raining, I said to my husband ‘If it’s still raining in the morning, I don’t think we will be able to go’. After all, if it was impossible to even get into town, it was probably going to be quite difficult to make it 120 or so miles up the motorway to Cheshire.


But in the morning, the rain had stopped. So I got up and finished the packing.

Then the phone rang. It was my Mum. It was still only about 7am.

‘You’re not going, are you?’

‘Yes, it’s stopped raining.’

She told me there had been problems on the M5, so I turned the telly on and it was the first thing I saw. We live in a quiet neck of the woods. You don’t expect to turn the telly on and see the area where you live.

The intensity of the rain had been so great that the M5 had flooded. It had been closed and people had been stranded for 14 hours. Including, I later found out, my best friend, who had also somehow managed to lose her handbag in the kerfuffle of 14 hours not moving on the motorway.

So we weren’t going. I went for a run/ walk instead. The world was a very different place. The area under the railway bridge had filled up like a sink again and there were a couple of cars bobbing around underneath it. The whole area from the railway bridge, across the road to the school and into the park was just one big lake.

I tiptoed through it as best I could and carried on walking. At the top end of the park is a small stream. But it wasn’t a small stream any more, it was a raging, angry river and it was threatening to overflow. People who lived in the houses on the opposite side of the road were manically digging ridges into the grass verge in a desperate attempt to divert the flow from their houses when and if it did overflow. Those ridges are still visible now, five years later.

Because I’d told my boss I was going away and couldn’t work, I didn’t realise that my colleagues were all working around the clock all weekend.

The whole area was a mess – people were stranded, thousands of homes were flooded, there were dramatic rescues happening, people were in rest centres.

But the rain had stopped. Surely things were about to improve? Little did we know, they were about to get a whole lot worse.
Find out how tomorrow…

Author: Sarah Mummy

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3 Comments

  1. Wow, I remember these floods Sarah…how frightening it all must have been. Complete devastation. Interesting and compelling reading though. Look forward to tomorrow’s instalment 🙂

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  2. I remember just avoiding going in to Hull for a few days afterwards, mainly because a lot of the roads were still flooded, but also because I didn’t want to know. When I eventually was able to drive in, it was awful. Even roads and streets that hadn’t flooded much were filthy and smelly. Side-streets were blocked off with barriers. Cars were stood where they had been abandoned by owners who’d just got out and walked home instead and not returned for them. And we live somewhere flat (or you think it is until you add water in to the equation). I feel for those who were somewhere more hilly. It must have been horrendous in the lower grounds.

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  3. Hope you are enjoying the next installments, Suzanne! It was a unique and scary experience, although we were very lucky because we weren’t flooded.
    Sounds awful, TD. I think your floods were probably worse than ours, but ours was exacerbated by being without water for the next two weeks. I hope none of us have to go through it again, but with the increasingly crazy weather, we probably will 🙁

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