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Tuesday, 7 November, 2000, 14:05 GMT
Your storm experiences
The UK has been battered by severe weather, leaving thousands of homes without power and the rail network at an almost complete standstill.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Passengers were stranded on several cross Channel ferries off the south coast. A tornado hit Selsey, in West Sussex, early on Monday - 36 hours after a similar freak wind caused devastation a few miles along the coast at Bognor Regis.
The Environment Agency says although the gales were not as severe as the storm of October 1987 they affected a wider area - lashing areas from north Wales to Kent.
Ashley, UK/ RSA
It took me 6 and a half-hours to travel from Derby to Stafford (30 miles) owing to the rail network and the storms. Isn't that AMAZING?
This country really needs to pump money into flood defence and transport links to make sure we are never left standing again. Everything grinds to a halt, whether it's rain, snow, leaves - the list goes on. It's time the Government got on with their job, oh I forgot they never do. It's all said but nothing is done. How many more homes and lives do we have to lose?
What would it be like if it starts freezing next week?
We don't have a problem with lots of rain as we live at the top of a hill. Aberdeen generally has good drainage into the rivers and sea. Even severe rain that might shut the roads will not stop me getting to work as I travel by chopper - 300 miles North East of Aberdeen.
Global warming is a major concern to the rest of the world, let alone the UK. But a fundamental factor may have been over-looked.
The Sun powers the weather here on Earth. The Sun is currently riding on a wave of sun-spots. Although evidence between sun spot activity and the weather remains uncertain, it does raise the question of why this bad weather has appeared now. Every eleven years the Sun peaks in sun-spot activity. I can remember the 25th January 1990. It was probably the worst storm I remember--much stronger than the mere gales we had recently.
So, should we be looking to global warming or sun spot activity as the major contributor to floods and storms?
Some years ago they built a bypass for Burley-in-Wharfedale, and altered the course of the river. Then they built some houses, and added artificial drainage where there used to be fields. Now the Wharfe floods further downstream, where it never used to flood.
Is global warming to blame, or greedy developers intent on turning a quick buck? York's problems also have more to do with the new housing developments on the outskirts than global warming.
Global warming is a convenient excuse for bad planning. After all we can blame global warming for hot spells and cold spells, as well as drought and flood.
Some of your contributors may be surprised to learn that flooding by rivers due to development is not a new phenomenon, and it's not all due to urban development. In the early 1790's water meadows were ploughed into arable land and pasture in an effort to produce more food during the French Revolutionary Wars. Almost immediately following this change there was flooding. But it has very little to do with urban development, as witnessed by the dates of previous floods.
Let's get this into perspective. The "storm" has hit England and as usual it has snowballed into an UK issue - the "over the top" detail reporting on this so-called "national" disaster should be kept to the appropriate local regional news reports.
Central London's been pretty lucky, as usual. Great advice from GNER telling everyone to avoid using their service this weekend. It meant that those of us who had booked tickets weeks in advance got to travel on virtually empty trains with much less hassle than normal. The train did take longer than usual, but so what - at least I got a seat!
Here in Holland the weather is likely to be the same as in Britain. Until now no single train or flight has been delayed.
Yes, Britain is a developing country
All that rain and not a spot of cricket to interrupt!
Please would you put more on the main news about the problems farmers are facing with the floods. Demonstrating the flooded fields and problems with keeping and feeding animals. The damage it is doing to recently sown crops and similar. I think it is important that the plight of farmers and the floods is known as it comes on top of other insurmountable problems.
It is telling that the Prime Minister has decided to visit flood affected areas but not in the South where it was worst. Instead he has chosen safe Labour areas in other parts of the country.
Peter, Lancashire, Great Britain
Southern Holland is the global leader in flood control. The price is miles of impressive looking concrete dams, sluices, locks etc. If you are not willing to subject the British countryside to that (and I would say do it in a heartbeat), then complaining when your home is flooded is daft. The effect of jamming 60 million people on these islands means a few trees may just, possibly, have to go. You can't have your cake, eat it, then eat it again.
I live high up in the Pennines. Year after year the land has been developed with housing estates eating away at any spare land available. Rain falls mainly on the high ground, hence the abundance of reservoirs in the area. It always flows downhill and has therefore less ground to soak into each year. I pity the people whose property regularly floods. Please, tackle one of the reasons for this by stopping all building on new land. In most cases planning permission was granted in the 1960's and earlier. This year you might have 3 feet of floodwater, next year how much?
Mike Rudkin, England
Myself and two friends were three of the passengers aboard the P&O Ferry from Calais to Dover which took over 20 hours to complete a one-and-a-half hour journey. We left Calais at 6.45pm French time on Sunday evening and finally left the ship at 3.45pm English time on Monday afternoon. We were the last ship to leave Calais on Sunday evening and spent 17 hours circling, along with a few other ships, in the channel completing circles between Deal and Dover until the port was re-opened and the gales had subsided enough to enable us to dock. The feeling of relief when we finally docked, after an hour and a half of trying, was immense and it will be a long time before I travel by boat again!!
USA, UK and Japan, big users of resources, big polluters, big slap on the wrist from mother nature. Sort it now or face extinction.
Storm, what storm...Ahh Scotland's no so bad after all.....
I can understand when the South of England copes badly with a heavy fall of snow, after all it happens once a decade. I can understand how a freak tornado or an earthquake might throw us. But there is a certain irony when Britain is thrown into complete chaos by RAIN.
For the last two days, I have watched people stopping cars in traffic rather than drive through a three inch deep puddle.
Rolf Howarth, UK
In this new millennium weather problems like this will probably worsen due to global warming. It will affect us all like never before.
But what makes it even more serious is that climatic problems and occurrences are something that cannot be solved as easily as something like unemployment, war or poverty.
What did people blame bad weather on before the global warming hype?
Get your insurance papers ready!
I thought it was great! There were no trains running from Brighton to London so I had an unexpected day off work. Commuting is a nightmare at the moment because of Railtrack's problems - so a day without trains was much appreciated.
Got thrown off the train at Derby yesterday, 50 miles from home and 150 miles from where I needed to be. Midland Mainline's advice? It's not our problem mate - the bus station is over there! Spent most of the day drinking tea in a cafe waiting for the bus home!
Tim Prosser, UK
I wish it was summer again so I can start up my barbecue and drink some beers!
Here in Hong Kong we have always had typhoon warnings issued by the Met. Office. A code of practice has been adopted by businesses, officially sanctioned by the Government that under severe typhoon conditions, HK closes down. In recent years, as rainy weather has become more severe, these official Met. Office warnings have extended to rain warnings. Again, the severity of rain warnings determines the action taken, such as closing schools, transport or businesses.
In bad weather, I make no attempt to keep to my regular schedule i.e. work, shopping etc. If the radio or TV has bad weather news, and the view from my window looks dodgy, I postpone appointments by phone and call in to work. Rest assured, if I'm not sure I can get to work, there'll be a few others in the same boat. Perhaps it's a control thing we fight to keep. Must be able to do what we want, when we want. Home with a cup of tea is much more sensible.
If it's true that this freakish weather is a direct result of global warming, then perhaps it's a good thing that a developed country such as England is being hit with some bad weather (as opposed to the Nile delta etc). Good because perhaps something will be done before it's too late. Though judging by the government's poor and reactive response to the rail crisis, BSE and so on in favour of profits, half of us are likely to be up to our necks in water 10 years from now. I wonder how much weather related damage and death will need to occur in the western world before serious steps are made to reverse global warming.
What is it about this country? Why are we so unable to cope with any slight variation from the norm? If it's not storms it's fuel blockades or flu epidemics. We are a nation of incompetent's just blagging the short term day to day without considering the intrinsic disaster of our national infrastructure.
BBC website appears to have ignored the North of England as usual. I know there is major disruption around Leeds, but you wouldn't think anywhere outside the South was affected.
It's turned out nice again in Riyadh, thanks!
It's a bit wet, and very windy.
It got quite windy, then it rained a bit. Then I got up and put the kettle on.
What was there to get excited about?
Eddy Cain, UK
About a pint of water blown between the roof tiles by the gales thrashing down the street. Totally unable to get to work, so a free day off! Stressful seeing water seeping down the wall in the loft, but a whole day to deal with it! It could have been a lot worse.
It was great! I arrived at the railway station soaking wet, the information screens were just saying "CUSTOMER INFORMATION DISPLAY", Connex staff were in hiding, and there were no trains!
So I went home, dried off, and put my feet up.
Woo-hoo! Day off!
Roslyn Coldrey, Surrey, UK
Just had possibly the worst journey of my life.
After setting off from Canterbury at 5:30 this morning
I finally arrived in Slough at 12:30 this afternoon.
With staggering cross winds and blanket rain in the Kent area
I should have just taken the day off work.
The highlight of the journey was making 3.3 miles in a mind numbing
4:30 hours, trying to get off the M25 at Leatherhead. I swear if this were
the ice age a glacier would have overtaken me.
If I'd have had scuba gear and climbing equipment I may have
saved some time along the way. I'll know better next time.
It took me 4 hours to drive a 45 minute journey this morning. During which I drove through a NEW lake on the A3 and covered a distance of half a mile in neutral gear - I Jest you not! The thing I find particularly sad is how the whole country cannot cope and grinds to a complete halt during these kinds of crises. If this is to increase as predicted then we really need to do something and fast. This situation is not going to get any better. I am now going to attempt to go home.
Ashley Goodall, UK
This spell of weather is truly amazing! I travel every morning from Wakefield to Leeds, which is a distance of about 10 miles. When I departed at 08:20, it was simply pouring with heavy rain, and a little windy. After 5 minutes, the area was battered by heavy snowfall, and what I can only describe a 'blizzard' conditions! There must be something wrong with Mother Nature to bring such chaos this early in the year!
Another long journey to report. It took 50 fellow passengers, and myself, seventeen hours to get from London Paddington to Penzance by rail yesterday (30th). We left on the overnight sleeper at 23:30 and did not arrive until 17:15 the next day, after a mixed journey of train and coach.
Other countries are able to cope with climates far more extreme than our own. Why can't Britain? I cannot help but suspect that the annual bleat of "let's blame the weather" masks the fact that our infrastructure has become so under-invested and poorly managed.
Chris Ashley, UK
I think that the UK is definitely experiencing worst weather than ever before. I live in the Tamar Valley in Devon with my parents. In the fifteen years I have been alive, I never recall being able to lie in bed a 3:30 in the morning and hearing the trees in the wood next to us being blown over. Down in the valley below us a few Thursdays ago, we there was a high tide like never we had never seen before so what is happening to our weather?
It is me or the country seem to grind to a halt everytime there is bit of bad weather? This country's infrastructure is now is such a poor condition that it costing people, business and the economy millions of pounds. It's hard to believe that this is the UK and that the year is 2000. The government needs to take control and spend some serious money to get this country back on it's feet. I'm not talking about committing cash over the ten 10 or 20 years, I'm talking about NOW!
We were landing at Gatwick airport at about 6 p.m. It was the most awful experience of flying in my life. We were approaching the runway when our plane was hit by such a severe turbulence (wind of 40 knots) that it felt like we were about to crash... (horrible feeling). I even started crying (though never thought I will be ever so frightened if something like that happened). Maybe it will be better to go by boat next time but... you never know¿)
I completely agree with Aga Benson. When will people wake up to the fact that Human intervention IS damaging the environment. Weather such as this will not only continue, but will get progressively more extreme. Large house builders are building new estates on flood plains and roads are being built on the same, what do you think will happen?
As for me, I'm moving house, somewhere on high ground¿
Kevin Hall, UK
I can sympathise with the extreme weather you in southern England are enduring. Earlier this year a tornado struck the downtown area of the city I live in. Downtown Ft Worth, Texas still has unrepaired damage. That is why we have property insurance.
Human Power nothing to compare Natural Powers
Bex Marriott, UK
We have scores of typhoons every year.
That means we have been really accustomed to a horrendous situation.
For example, it hits very often a southern part of Japan, but sometimes
some central cities such as Tokyo and Osaka and other biggest urban cities.
The government is, or seems to be, ready for the disastrous situation, nevertheless, it is always too late to set up the team or volunteers involved.
In fact nobody knows when and where an atrocious storm will take place even though science and technology has been developed.
My husband is still stranded in Gatwick airport waiting for a flight to Florida on Tuesday. He could not get a flight from Edinburgh till 6.45pm today and ofcourse had missed his connection on Virgin Atlantic which also was late leaving due to the awful weather. I thought we here in the US were the only ones affected by tornadoes.
As a British citizen who lived in the UK for 29 years and now living it the US, I don't remember ever seeing weather as bad as its being currently reported. However, having lived through Hurricane Floyd in '99 - I can really sympathise.
Gareth Johnson, England
The worst weather here was at around 5.30am (on Monday) - it's a lot calmer now. The garden looks totally unscathed and I'd say it was significantly lower wind strength than 70-90mph but certainly noisy enough to make sleep near impossible.
All I can say is how pleased I am that pilots are trained to the level they are. With cross winds of goodness knows what, we took off from Birmingham Airport this morning, and we arrived safe and sound in Munich, albeit a little late.
Richard Carrington, UK
I was waiting outside Gatwick for my Toronto flight and the wind picked me up and all went dark. The next thing I knew, I landed in a field outside Toronto.You know the old saying is you pays your money and takes your chance.
My wife Alison and myself were both stuck on a P & O Ferry, crossing from Calais to Dover last night. The boat left Calais at 9pm and (finally) reached Dover at 4.30am this morning. The only reason that we got into the port at that time was that a lady had serious head injuries after being hit by a flying table. The crossing was very rough and at times very scary with many smashed glasses, overturned plants etc and people experiencing severe bouts of sea-sickness. I think in the end we were (relatively) fortunate not to be stuck out there until late this morning. I think the captain and staff of the boat coped very well in (obviously) difficult circumstances and what has now turned out to be an unusually powerful, destructive and rare storm.
Stormy UK? Stormy England more like! The weather was rather nice in Edinburgh today, sunny but rather cold. And hardly windy at all!
Well, I was an hour late for work because I had to sit on a train for a bit longer - big deal - it's not like I'm not used to that!
I awoke three times in the night, twice because of the storm and once at 5.30am as my dad had to go to work early on a bus as the trains were down. Later at my school half the pupils (and teachers!) hadn't arrived and all classes for the first hour and a half were cancelled (at least every cloud has a silver lining!!!)
The weather has been chaotic here in Devon but we have all been taking advatage of the epic surf conditions. This morning we surfed 12ft+ waves, on a par with anything I have surfed in Indonesia and Hawaii. For us surfers the image of lots of lows scooting across the Atlantic has us dancing with glee.
I guess we are a funny old bunch really!
I drove my wife to work this morning. Only about 300 metres but it was the only way to get through the water between home and the shop she works in!
It took three hours to fly from Newcastle to Gatwick last night. Another hour and a half to drive a journey that normally takes 30 minutes. At 6 o'clock this morning I was sawing up branches that had landed against the house, the garden furniture was found next door and our other neighbour is under six inches of water. At 7 o'clock a 40ft Elm fell over in front of the house and by 7.50 the railway was shut down. It took a further two hours to get to Lewisham to pick up the DLR to Canary Wharf but a broken down train has meant a restricted service. I'm sure someone will say I'm just whinging.
I was at the heart of the Bognor tornado. Having just returned from my honeymoon with my wife, we were looking at our wedding photographs with the in-laws, when the tornado came over the house. The wind came up and the bushes in the front garden were blown horizontal by the force. Then through the windows I saw the tiles lift from the house opposite, Luckily we managed to get out of the room before a tile broke through the double-glazing, shattering glass and sending it throughout the room. Scary at the time, surreal now!
Severe weather, floods, high winds, tornadoes, general chaos...maybe now people will start believing that global warming exists and it is NOT a good thing. Do your bit for the environment, before it's too late.
Just had possibly the worst journey of my life.
After setting off from Canterbury at 5.30 this morning I finally arrived in Slough at 12.30 this afternoon. With staggering cross winds and blanket rain in the Kent area I should have just taken the day off work. The highlight of the journey was making 3.3 miles in a mind-numbing
four and a half hours, trying to get off the M25 at Leatherhead.
Another long journey to report. It took 50 fellow passengers, and myself, 17 hours to get from London Paddington to Penzance by rail yesterday. We left on the overnight sleeper at 11.30pm and did not arrive until 5.15pm the next day, after a mixed journey of train and coach.
Yesterday we were landing at Gatwick airport at about 6pm. It was the most awful experience of flying in my life. We were approaching the runway when our plane was hit by such a severe turbulence (wind of 40 knots) that it felt like we were about to crash... a horrible feeling. I even started crying. Maybe it will be better to go by boat next time but... you never know.
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