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.