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Sheffield Risk of Rivers Don and Sheaf Flooding, Great Flood of 2016?

Local / Sheffield Jan 04, 2016 - 01:46 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Local

Britain's fifth largest city, Sheffield was hit with a once in a 150 year flood in 2007, but now 8 1/2 years later Sheffield may be about to witness it's next once in a century flood as a consequence of climate change that has seen a conveyor belt of heavy rainfall hitting mostly Northern Britain every few days resulting in a series of floods working their way down Britain's backbone that most recently has impacted major northern cities such as York, Manchester. Leeds and Bradford.


Sheffield Flood Risk of 2016

The current level of River Sheaf at Highfield is at 0.65m which is below 0.85metres above which there is increasing risk of flooding and which compares against the 2007 flood peak of 3.26metres. Whilst the River Don at Sheffield Lady's Bridge is at 1.6metres, which compares against a normal range of 0.5 to 1 metres. So whilst higher than normal and posing some risk of sporadic localised flooding of low lying streets, however does not compare against the Flood of 2007 which saw the river level reach 4.47metres causing widespread flooding that brought the city of Sheffield literally to a standstill.

So whilst the river levels are not critical today, nor tomorrow or the day after. Nevertheless this does not mean that a repeat of 2007 is not going to happen given that the ground is already saturated, and the jet stream driven conveyor belt of heavy rainfall continues to dump record amounts of rainfall across Northern Britain every other day, then it is highly probable that over the next few weeks Sheffield too could suffer serious flooding approaching that of 2007.

Householders Protect Your Property - Ensure Gutters and Drains are Not Blocked

Whilst there is little that people can do protect against river banks bursting, however house holders can protect against the consequences of heavy rainfall and therefore should quickly survey their properties during pauses in the rainfall to ensure that gutters and drains are not blocked, as well as protecting any areas of the property such as garage doors that could flood during heavy rainfall.

And if you were hit by flooding in 2007 then don't wait until it is too late, instead move valuables upstairs and remember that your just as likely to flood as a consequence of the failure of drainage than rising river levels, as water backs up along the system for several metres ABOVE river levels as the following 2007 time-line illustrates. Another tip is to make sure you park your car on high ground.

Sheffield Flood of 2007

The 2007 floods brought the city of Sheffield to a standstill mainly as a consequence of it's main road arteries that cross the city centre being flooded, so the impact was more along a 10 mile central corridor from Meadowhall in the north across the Wicker in the centre to Dore in the South, rather than widespread amongst Sheffield's housing estates primarily because Sheffield is a city built on seven hills, unlike many other flood prone cities that tend to be flatter.

2007 Time Line

The Market Oracle documented the extent of the flooding and rescue efforts from the Wicker area of the city resulting in the following time-line:

1.30pm - The River Don that runs through the heart of the city was a raging torrent, but in the near 15 years we have been in our current premises, I have seen this many times before, many times.

A colleague suggests that the river is going to burst its banks, having only been with us for barely 2 years, he obviously was not party to my inside knowledge that it has never flooded in at least 15 years, nor have I known any serious flooding in Sheffield in the 40 years I have lived here. So I ask my colleague to put his money where his mouth is, a bet ! "I bet you £50 the river won't burst". But he won't take the bet !

About 10 min's later, 1.40pm with the waters rising, I venture out to take a closer look.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -The river is very high, now reaching the walkway path which implies that it is likely to overspill

1.40pm - The river is very high, now reaching the walkway path which implies that it is likely to overspill, still this would be a far cry from an actual flooding

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -The drainage appears to be failing in the car park.

1.50pm - The drainage appears to be failing in the car park. Which is alarming because if the drainage is failing then it does not matter of the river bursts its banks as we could still yet get flooding. So I decide to move my car to a little higher ground, out of the car park.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -I am called to the reception to investigate flooding as water from the front of the building starts to enter the premises

1.55pm - I am called to the reception to investigate flooding as water from the front of the building starts to enter the premises

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -Barely 2 minutes later the flooding at reception worsens with the waters rising very fast.

1.57pm - Barely 2 minutes later the flooding at reception worsens with the waters rising very fast. With very little that can be done to prevent the inevitable.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -Within 10 minutes the car park is starting to sustain serious flooding.

2pm - Within 10 minutes the car park started to sustain serious flooding. Given the flooding in reception and the car park flooding, I decide to call it a day and instruct our personnel to go home.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -The front of the building is already flooded, as the drainage system completely fails.

2.02pm - The front of the building is already flooded, as the drainage system completely fails.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -Not everyone has headed the advice, cars litterally start to drift in the car park

2.17pm - Not everyone has headed the advice, one of the remaining cars literally starts to drift in the car park.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -The Reception area is flooded by 6 inches with at least another foot of water building up

2.21pm - The Reception area is flooded by 6 inches with at least another foot of water building up. The building at this point is closed.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 -The carpark is completelly floode

3.30pm - The car park is completely flooded.

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 - The front of the building is under at least 3 feet of water

3.35pm - The front of the building is under at least 3 feet of water, which means the offices will have sustained serious flooding.

3.35pm - The area is completely flooded and in fact has turned into a fast flowing river, the nearby shops are under at least 3 feet of water

 

Sheffiled Flooding 2007 - RAF helicopters are called out to rescue people trapped in neighbouring buildings as the water levels continued to rise

Throughout the late afternoon and evening, three RAF helicopters rescued hundreds of trapped people in neighbouring buildings as the water levels continued to rise.

6pm - The flooding continues in nearby roads

At the time of posting this article there were two confirmed deaths in the city, one of which was in the immediate vicinity of our building.

Serious questions need to be asked as to why the UK's fifth largest city has such an inadequate drainage system. Especially as the area is under going a construction boom with many developments near completion now damaged by flood waters.

THE DAY AFTER

With the flood levels having receded, the devastation caused to the surrounding area became apparent

The Car park though now dry, is caked in at least inch deep of toxic mud which needs to be removed. The clear up of ground floor workshops has already begun.

The once flooded reception area is being stripped bare.

The front of the of the building bares witness to the force of the fast flowing river

Shop fronts show extensive damage with footpaths literally washed away revealing gaping holes that some people fell into on the day of the flood.

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Source and Comments: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article53350.html

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2015 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 25 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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