Once an active small harbour, Thornham Harbour, North Norfolk, has become a mooring at the end of a muddy creek. From the harbour to the sea is a 20 minute walk across salt marshes at low tide, although with spring tides, there is extensive flooding. In addition to its legitimate trading purposes, in the eighteenth century the harbour became notorious for its smuggling activities – wool, tea, tobacco, alcohol etc.
(See also https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/left-high-and-dry/ )
February has the reputation for being a particularly wet month – hence the expression ‘February fill dyke’, implying that the dykes will be filled either by heavy rain or melting snow. But this winter we have received unprecedented levels of rainfall, producing extensive flooding across much of the country and bringing disruption and misery to many thousands.
Initially the ‘human’ reaction was to identify someone to blame – the local council/the Environment Agency/ the Government/ the Meteorological Office etc – but such knee jerk behaviour is unhelpful. We have limited experience of such severe weather conditions in this country and it is self-evident we have been caught ill-prepared. Nothing can change what has happened but it would be unforgivable if we failed to analyse our shortcomings and undertake appropriate action to avoid a recurrence.