Friday, July 17, 2009

Flood defence plan for 'at risk' borough in London

Julie Eysenck in the London Informer: Flood water could swamp parts of Pimlico and south Westminster in just 30 minutes, according to a recent study. In a worst case scenario, if the Thames Barrier failed and defences on the Embankment were breached, combined with a one-in-200-years tidal flood, there could be a two-metre rise in water levels in just half an hour.

…Westminster Council planners mapped the likely course of flood waters, in a bid to help them improve defences to protect homes and businesses built on flood plains. The last time Westminster suffered severe flooding was in 1928, when 14 people died. However, the borough is likely to become more vulnerable to the risks of flooding in future because of rising tides and heavier rainfall brought on by climate change.

Last Tuesday, several tube stations were closed and parts of the borough were brought to a standstill due to the torrential downpours of rain. Recommendations made by the council include introducing simple and natural forms of drainage to reduce the amount of flood water running into drains, such as water tanks, paving which allows water to drain through, and 'living' sedum roofs.

Deputy Westminster Council leader Councillor Robert Davis said: "Like many major cities, London is built on the banks of a great river and is therefore vulnerable to climate change. "Although Westminster is currently well protected, we must ensure the city is prepared for any eventuality by planning ahead….”

Buttress from the river steps of the now-vanished Millbank Prison, in Pimlico, London. Shot by Fin Fahey, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

No comments: