St Michael & All Angels Parish Church,
Shefford On Flood Alert!
January 2nd 2003
The Environment agency issued severe flood warnings for the rivers Flit and Ivel between Shefford and Biggleswade. This was one of only two such warnings for the whole of East Anglia (the other being the River Kym in Cambridgeshire).
These photographs, taken at around 2.30pm on 2nd January, from the bridge over the river Flit clearly show the scale of the flooding.
Both the BBC and the Environment Agency were seen in Shefford filming and inspecting the state of the River Flit.
January 3rd 2003
By 11 am, the river Flit had risen just above the towpath on the old Wharf, but by 2.30 pm, the level had dropped below the towpath. The photograph on the left, taken at around 2.30pm, shows the receding river level, while the large puddles on the towpath indicate the peak level of the flood, just over 3 hours earlier.
All riverside footpaths were closed by the Police as a valuable safety measure - large stretches of the footpaths were submerged, and the speed at which the river levels rose (and fell) could have easily trapped unwary walkers.
In spite of the rapid growth of new housing developments in Shefford over the last few years, the drainage system seemed to cope with the severe conditions extremely well - most of the road drains were able to disperse surface water very effectively, even at the height of the flood. Our planners, developers and engineers are to be congratulated on a job well done!
January 4th 2003
A cold, clear, rainless night resulted in a rapid drop of the river levels, which, by 11 am had almost returned to 'normal' levels.
Is it getting worse?
It seems that every year around this time Shefford suffers from flooding to some degree, and it is tempting to think that things are getting worse.
However, as this photograph of the 'High Water' mark on the entrance to St Michael's Church shows, the flooding problem in Shefford is nothing new, and is, in fact a lot less of a problem than it used to be.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have suffered as a result of the flooding.
St Michael & All Angels Parish Church High Street Shefford Bedfordshire UK
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