Government to combat Hull, Tewkesbury flood risk with new Thames barrier
Environment Minister Phil Woolas told a southern England fixated broadsheet newspaper, "A feasibility study into a second barrier for London will be completed within weeks." He also revealed that the probability of London flooding had "doubled up" since 1983 from a one-in-2000 chance to one-in-1000.
When asked by DeadBrain's Political Editor, Douglas Ramsbottom, what the probability of flooding would be in the proposed new housing to be built on flood-plains in Tewkesbury, Mr Woolas replied, "Pretty damn high, I expect."
Mr Woolas also confirmed to DeadBrain that the government had come close to ordering the mass evacuation of parts of Gloucestershire after the Walham power station, near Gloucester, almost flooded last month.
"One and a half more inches and it would have been 'whoosh'!" he said. "After weighing up our options we decided to let a further catastrophe unfold - that way we'd be clearer what to do if a really important place was in danger. But the rain stopped so we'll just have to wait until next time."
'Wet'Tewkesbury town councillor Kevin Workman commented that he was delighted with the plan. "With the money left over from the Thames barrier idea we will be able to fully install a new drainage system in the town by 2098," he enthused. "As long as the Thames barrier budget doesn't go over the allotted £20bn, which I'm told is very unlikely, we should have at least 300 pounds to play with. We may have to stick to the same system design though."
Local residents also appeared enthusiastic. "I think this is very good news and long may it continue," said Gregory T Mullet, owner of one of Tewkesbury's oldest retailers, Sandbags R Us Ltd.
Mr Mullet may get his wish as a source at the Environment Agency revealed to DeadBrain yesterday that there is "a chance" that there may be more wet weather at some indeterminate point in the future.
'Big question'In June, people in South and East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire were also struck by extreme flooding. Later, severe floods affected areas such as Oxfordshire and Berkshire, and the village of Pennan in Aberdeenshire was hit by mudslides. The Environment Agency said it was "worried" that the devastation caused by the floods could return within months, with the North Yorkshire Moors the greatest short-term risk.
"The big question today though is not really that," said Phil Woolas, when presented with the evidence. "No, the big question today is 'could a flood devastate London in 50 years' time?'"