Column: Flooded with humanity

 Floods in Warton, near Lancaster. Pic copyright of and published with kind permission of Fiona Gallagher.
Floods in Warton, near Lancaster. Pic copyright of and published with kind permission of Fiona Gallagher.


It usually happens somewhere else..

How often do we watch natural disasters unfold on television, inured  as we are to crisis in our rapidly changing, unpredictable, planet.

But what happened  (is happening) right here this week, proves that we can take nothing for granted.

Heat, power, roads, food – all the elements that we presume will be there as we undertake our daily lives can be  swept away, literally, when the floodwaters come.

And get swept away they did.

But as Storm Desmond took away the basics for thousands of people, it washed away the things we have come to rely on and underneath were the things that we actually need and maybe forget are there.

As the rain came down, the absolutely amazing people came out.

People came together  in ways that as a society we sometimes forget we can.

People helped each other, they rescued each other, they fed each other and they cared.

Social media helped this process of course but as the batteries and chargers ran out and the wi-fi vanished, people walked  outside of their cold, damp, dark, homes and talked to their neighbours, some for the first time.

Meanwhile, public phone boxes – if not underwater – developed queues as people battled for news of family and loved ones.

Instead of shivering in their homes and feeling sorry for themselves,  many residents were outside sandbagging, helping the elderly, checking up on the more vulnerable and taking steps to provide for those worse affected.

There are so many individual stories, ones of bravery, generosity, community spirit and smiling through a very miserable experience.

Now the waters are receding, the battle is on to get power restored to all  and the cleanup has begun, all while we keep a nervous eye on the weather reports.

We can be sure of absolutely nothing with the elements but we can be sure that after this experience, the people of Lancashire and Cumbria are there for each other.

And that can keep all of us a bit warmer.

This originally appeared in titles including Lancashire Evening Post HERE

 Lancaster under water 
Lancaster under water