Climate change in the UK: Flooding caused by Storm Christoph

Posted in: Environment

Posted on: 27.01.2021

Good Energy has collaborated with award-winning environmental photographer Toby Smith to produce a series of photo-essays visualising climate change in the UK. Toby will be documenting some of the now frequent but still unpredictable extreme weather events across the UK in 2021. The resulting photographs will serve as an illustration of how climate change is already directly affecting many aspects of our society. 

Heavy rainfall and rapid snow melt has brought severe flooding to many areas of the UK. Homes have been submerged, roads impassable, businesses put once again out of action and agriculture and infrastructure flooded.  

Storm Christoph is the first named storm of 2021, triggering numerous severe weather and flood alerts. Despite the continuing national COVID lockdown, thousands of properties and businesses have been evacuated as ‘Danger to Life’ warnings were enforced by local authorities. Many regions experienced flooding at their highest recorded levels in over 10 years – and the increasing frequency and severity of such extreme weather events is incredibly damaging to communities.

A row of houses is flooded in Worcester

Last week, I was able to safely document the local catchments of the Rivers Avon, Severn, Lobb and Wye, which broke their banks following the dangerous combination of significant snow cover and heavy rain. With already saturated ground conditions, the flooding exceeded flood plains, submerging residential and business areas of Tewkesbury, Worcester, Hereford and Ross on Wye. Some of these areas have only recently recovered from similar damage less than a year ago.  

A van submerged in Hereford

A house is flooded in Hereford

It was immediately obvious whilst on the ground that it wasn’t the severity of Christoph’s flooding that was remarkable to the people affected - but how frequent and certain these events are becoming. The gargantuan efforts of preparation, resilience or mitigation against the floods all adding to the individual cost and hardships - before, during and after the floods.

A park is flooded in Worcester after the River Severn breaks its banks

See more of Toby's work on Twitter @tobysmithphoto

Toby Smith

Toby Smith is an award winning environmental photographer, based in Stroud. We're collaborating with him to produce a series of photo-essays visualising climate change impacts and solutions in the UK. 

Read more stories by Toby Smith

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