On the River

Back in July I went, for one reason or another, on a meandering bike ride. I ended up here:

Thames Barrier, in calm conditions
My bike. And the Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier is apparently the world’s second largest movable flood barrier (I believe the Dutch have the largest immovable such barrier: most of Holland is actually a giant dyke). I’ve never seen in it action; not even Thursday night when we were skirting Stormageddon and flying back into my favourite aerodrome—as the Barrier is west of the runway you only tend to get views of it on takeoff.

But it does spring into action, and yesterday the Environment Agency reported it closed against the highest tide since it was completed in 1984. What would have happened if the Barrier wasn’t there, or if it hadn’t closed?

Flooded River
What London might have looked like, today

Take another look at that—the red rectangle is the approximate location of my (ground floor) flat.

6Dec13
Wet

Yeah.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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3 Responses to On the River

  1. John the Plumber says:

    Being a lab rat you should be ok. – It will be programmed into your genes to leave the sinking ship at the appropriate time. – Being a plumber, I worry about drains – sewers need something like a 1 in 40 slope to work effectively and all drains eventually lead to the sea. As sea levels rise drains will stop draining. Then we’ll be in a mess, so to speak.

  2. It’s really quite a majestic thing, that flood barrier. A nicely frightening diagram, too. At least you appear to have some high ground not too far away.

  3. You’ve read The Kraken Wakes, yes? I vividly remember the part about massive crowds coming out to see whether the Thames would flood…