Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Social impact of floods 'should be planned for' Major flooding does not only destroy homes and vital infrastructure - it has a devastating effect on the physical and mental health of those caught up the catastrophe. A new study of the 2005 Carlisle floods has shown that alongside the obvious potential for death, injury and health risks from contaminated water, flood victims can also suffer lasting psychological problems caused by loss of homes and personal possessions.

Three people died and about 6,000 Carlisle residents were hit by flood waters when 200mm of rain fell in 48 hours. About 60,000 homes in the area were also left without power. Writing in CIWEM's (the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) new Journal of Flood Risk Management, researchers described how the trauma of the flood still remained with Carlisle residents nearly a year and a half later.

Their study found that the most stressful phase was spending months drying out and renovating their homes - a situation made worse by problems with insurers, builders and decorators….

The Stillaguamish River in full spate in 2006, 9 feet above flood stage. Shot by Walter Siegmund, Wikimedia Commons,
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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