If you haven’t heard (and I hadn’t until I was told by my Mum this morning), Gloucester and surrounding areas are flooded. And by “flooded” I don’t mean a centimetre or two of standing water. We’re talking major widespread flooding of vast areas of land, both agricultural and of roads and houses. I watched some of it on BBC News 24 this lunch time. Not good. What’s doubly not good about it is that my fiancee is right there in the middle of it.
So far Ellie has been coping ok with it all, and managed to get more stuff done for the wedding, but it has not been without its difficulties. There is now no running water, following the flooding of the water treatment plant, and according to the report I heard this lunch time they don’t expect water to be back on tap until Wednesday at the earliest. They have to pump all the water out of the plant first, then drain all the contaminated water out of the system, then let the water go through the system again before it can be pumped back out to houses. I suspect it may take some time to clear the main water pipes too, so it could be several days before houses have clear drinking water back.
Electricity is out too. The floods hit the power substation overnight, and power has been lost to 350,000 homes. No surprise really, water and electricity don’t mix apparently. Without electricity, most things have come to a standstill – shops can’t operate, businesses can’t use their computers, warehouses’ stock control won’t work, and houses are without lighting. Thankfully the phone lines are still working, so far, but with power set to be unavailable for at least the next two weeks, it doesn’t look promising. It’s like going back into the dark ages, except that no one will be at all prepared for it.
There’s not much I can do about it though, except sit back and hope everything works out in the end. Thankfully Ellie’s parents’ houses aren’t flooded, and the church where we’re getting married is on a hill so that should be fine too. We’ve just got to hope that the roads are clear by the 18th, which is only a few weeks away…