It's been baffling listening to people talking and watching reports about protecting about floods and that money hasn't been spent on flood defences.
What baffles me is what do you do and where do you do it?
Currently northern England is sufferring, but we've had Welsh border areas affected and Somerset, where next? 60 odd years ago tides etc conspired to cause massive flooding along the east coast there has been measures taken, but on visits there aren't massive walls along the coastline just in case. Which is what flood defences would be about.
One way to mitigate flooding is dredging rivers and watercourses, but it seems eu legislation to protect wildlife habitats prevents this, which came to light as not dredging was cited as a cause in Somerset. But they have since dredged and they haven't had news making problems, but then they may not have had any problems.
The problem with a flood defence is that whatever you do, build 10ft high walls along every river bank to prevent overspill? Hardly picturesque given many places affected rely on tourism. Build walls and the flow will increase and any detritus picked up will cause damage, as seen a few years ago when bridges and existing defences were damaged by things caught in the flow. Do you allow floodplains to be just that, but then there will be rural areas affected with villages and farms flooded and roads made impassable to make a few townies happy. I'd bet they'd complain if the road they wanted to drive down was closed and they had to go out of there way. In our area there are places that once a few inches of rain have fallen, flood, and no one bats an eyelid, not even the local press. The people who live there all take their own precautions and have done for years, as part of the insurance requirements.
Geography is something you can't do anything about, flat low-lying areas will flood easily, live on these and there is always the potential for flooding and the western Lakes is susceptible to extraordinary rainfall given the geology and greography means short relatively steep, rivers and hard rock run off.
I'm waiting for a few weeks and we get an unusual foot or so of snow causing chaos and people saying we should have fleets of snowploughs all over the country and then who knows once it melts. I think we have to accept that nature will, every so often, throw things at us, that make life difficult for a while. There are plenty of places in the world that suffer far worse than we do in terms of weather extremes and natural events.