Calculated Risks

Flooded Field

Flooded Field (©2012 by Andy Vickers)

I have watched the river behind where I live rise, flood and then recede over the last few weeks, the floods were at once potentially devastating yet fascinating.  In the past these floodplains were left for the rivers to occupy when needed but now as town expand and risk areas usually only used for industry are redeveloped for housing more people are choosing to live with the risk.

The general opinion is that floods are an occasional occurence, in this country we don’t often have our brick-built buildings swept away by floodwaters and the locations, often with beautiful views are worth paying the price for.  So research has found that even after major floods house prices in affected areas haven’t dramatically dropped, though it does discourage some people from moving into a town from elsewhere.

Some homeowners even come up with methods of flood-proofing their homes rather than give them up to the forces of nature.  One problem that comes with the risk though is that insurance companies are more likely in future to refuse to insure flood risk houses, potentially making them difficult to sell.

In addition it is also thought that much of the flooding is caused by the developments themselves, with too much ground covered with concrete and tarmac and nowhere for rainwater to drain away, and what can be taken away draining into antiquated sewers.  Flooding is likely to be a regular reality for many more people in the future and the best defence is preparation to protect your valuables.

[BBC]

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