The flood of 2007

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Avon rowboats before the flood…

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Avon rowboats after the flood! 

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It was a night filled with activity. I left the pub at about midnight, and stood by the river for a while. Already the swelling waters had burst their banks, and the flood plain across the river was now a lake. The swans were huddling, slightly dazed, under the young oak tree by the Ferry dock. And the rain continued to fall.

In the middle of the night I could hear someone knocking on the downstairs window. Some of our neighbours were warning people on the ground floor to move to higher ground. Although I was drifting in and out of sleep, there seemed to be a steady stream of activity regarding encroaching water. So I had lots of two by two dreams, and was awakened in the morning by the gathering of locals and tourists alike agape at the devastation of the landscape.

By good fortune, the water seemed to have stopped just at the foot of our doorway. But the entire street was flooded. And across the river, I could see the swans enjoying the opportunity to swim in the lawn bowling enclosure. The entire green, as far as the eye can see, is still covered with water. And it was only a few hours later, when the water had receded about a foot, that Waterside became passable. Word came that several of the cottages where actors live were flooded, and that the Mac/Mac shows at the Swan had been cancelled because the basement of the theatre was under water. And as I sit here writing, the river is running a torrent, with plenty of debris, felled trees, and bits and pieces floating along in its wake. The ferry has disappeared. The row boats are completely surrounded by water. And there are constant cries of incredulity from the people who are coming out to witness the flood of 2007.

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