The Boscastle flood occurred on the 16th of August in 2004. The village suffered damage after a flash flood caused by an extraordinarily amount of rainfall came down in the afternoon of that day.
Boscastle is situated in the South West of England, in the county of Cornwall
6cm of rain fell in just 2 hours, causing a 3 meter high wall of water to rush through the village, taking everything including cars and trees.
an estimated 2 billion liters of water passed through Boscastle that day
the old bridges in Boscastle acted as a dam, blocking the water from getting through. When it gave way, the water suddenly rushed through the river.
the ground was already saturated, which meant that water just sat on the surface .
a months rain fell in a couple of hours
about 440 million gallons of water tore through the village
Boscastle is situated here The map above shows the amount of rainfall which fell between 11:00 am and 6:00pm on the 16 th August 2004. Although more rainfall fell in higher areas, this rain water was channelled through Boscastle . The map on the right indicates the relief of the land. Generally, the higher the land, the more rainfall which fell there. However, most of this water found it’s way through Boscastle and the river Valency couldn’t cope.
a front from the Atlantic came over Boscastle and just sat there as there was another front coming in from the east.
two rivers, which met at Boscastle, were going into I river at the same time and the river just couldn’t cope.
at the top of the valley, lots of trees (which could soak in water) were cut down to make way for farming.
Satellite View of Boscastle The Environment Agency says they only happen once every 400 years!
because the land wasn’t flat (the topography), the water didn’t have time to soak into the ground. Therefore, it went over the surface, towards the river (surface runoff). All the water was channeled through the village.
the contour lines indicate the steepness of the land- lots of contour lines means a very steep bit of land
2million pounds worth of damage was done. Repairs had to be made after the damage. This was very time consuming and costly. Some buildings were so badly damaged, that owners had to consider building them from scratch.
it cost insurance companies thousands of pounds to pay to people who had their houses damaged.
tourism was badly effected. 90% of their economy comes from tourism. 2/3 ’s of Boscastle’s yearly tourism business is done in the 6 week school holiday period which was when it happened.
roads were blocked off by the floodwater, making emergency access difficult, except from the air.
cars, boats and campervans were all swept out to sea. Over 100 cars were lost. Trees were uprooted.
nearly the whole village was wiped out. People had to sleep in emergency accommodation.
6 buildings were totally destroyed, many more were damaged
it wasn’t just the water which destroyed the houses, it was the mud and sewage as well.
because the roads were flooded, the quickest way for the emergency services to get to the stranded people in houses was by helicopters. About 1000 people had to be evacuated.
police, the fire brigade and the coastal brigade was there within minutes.
RAF had 7 helicopters in use when the flood struck.
temporary shelters were put up for those evacuated.
there was lots of media coverage
the bridge was said to be one of things which made the flood worse so the environment agency is discussing with locals how to solve the flood problems in the future.
new technology is being developed to try and help the weather forecast predict a more accurate weather forecast.
the Environment Agency has laid a larger flooding relief channel for the river and is looking at altering the narrow bridge which tends to block floodwater.
also, they tried to make the river straighter so water could channel out quicker
insurers paid the people who had damage to their houses. However, many people’s insurers don’t include flood insurance so th e Office of Deputy Prime Minister provided around £450,000 to pay for 'uninsurable' insurance costs in the village.
Nowadays, insurance companies do not include flooding damage in their quote.
On the 26 th of August, the time this photo was taken, people were allowed back into their homes. People started to rebuild their lives and property .
NO ONE DIED Despite all the damage to buildings and disruption to people’s lives…
Some rebuilding work has been done since, with business and homes reopened. However some businesses remain closed and unrepaired, due to problems in reclaiming money from insurance claims. Before and after pictures : Tourist numbers were up to near normal for day trips to Boscastle, a year later in August 2005, but overnight stays were down a little. 2 million pounds was given towards rebuilding the village such as making improvements on the harbor, car park and children’s play area.
Boscastle Floods 16th August 2004 By Adam Garrod 11.3