View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wet feet

The people in Cumbria (the Lake District) are suffering wet feet this evening. The RNLI (Lifeboat) is sending an inland rescue team to the town of Cockermouth, 25 miles southwest of Carlisle, and the TV News showed the town of Keswick under a good deal of water. I know Keswick quite well, having visited several times in 1999 and 2004. This is the result of rainfall, 110 mm (4½ inches) at Keswick, with unconfirmed reports of 276 mm (11 inches) elsewhere in the county.

Flooding is no laughing matter. The water itself is filthy, contaminated with raw sewage and what not. When it comes inside the house, everything it touches can be considered destroyed. Once the water has receded, it will take 6 to 12 months to dry out the house and make it fit for human habitation again. Flood waters stink - as I know of my own experience, having crossed (by bicycle) a flooded road under 2 feet of water in 2000. Yes, I know, a dangerous undertaking. I hope the people in Cumbria are safe tonight.

The weather forecast remains unfavourable, with more wind and rain in the offing over the weekend. Saturday and Sunday is going to be extremely windy in my area.

Thursday 19 November

Overcast and breezy, with the odd spot of rain. It's more than the odd spot they are getting in northern England and the rest of Scotland: a horrendous day down there, with little sign of improvement.

I am still monitoring the bulk carrier "Almi", which has been Not under command for the past two days or so. The ship, 42,000 dwt, is tracking back and forth in the Minch, between Tiumpan Head and Stoer Point. Don't know what is going there, but there is no Coastguard activity in the area, so I assume all is well.

More later.