The summer of 2007 was the wettest on chronicle. There was 414 mm of rainfall across England and Wales from May to July – more than in any season since accounts began in 1766. Across Yorkshire and the Midlands, thousands of parties were rescued, whole townships cut off and class forced to flee their properties.
In late July, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire became the latest parts of England to be inundated. Flooding left 48,000 homes without influence for two days, and 10,000 motorists were stranded on the M5 overnight.
In Tewkesbury, the whole town became cut off and the RAF and Army were drafted in to help with the aid attempt. Three parties died.
An aerial photo of the city and its famous abbey, imaging an island surrounded by a ocean of chocolate-brown water, became one of the defining portraits of that most sodden of summertimes .
Ten years on, the BBC revisits some of those caught up in the flooding.
‘There was somebody coming up the road in a canoe’
The day – 20 July – had started off like any other.
But while at work, where she was a partner at a lettings firm in Cheltenham, Sheila Heath noticed the depletions “bubbling” up with irrigate from the torrential rainfall.
She knew instantly something was “seriously wrong”, so she mailed her faculty home and tried to construct her behavior back to Tewkesbury but was forced to abandon her travel and stay with a friend.
When she made it dwelling the next morning, Mrs Heath , now 63, arrived to find her residence had been inundated. She had to wade through waist-deep water to get to her front door.
“The whole expanse was like a pond, ” she remembers. “There was somebody coming up the road in a canoe; it was totally surreal.”
It was six dates before the sea abated, during which duration their own families lived at a nearby bed and breakfast.
With their live uninhabitable, they bought a caravan and pitched it outside, abiding there for seven months.
With many in the street doing the same, it became “like a caravan site”, she said.
The cost of the damage – which was covered by the insurers – was 98,000, but many cherished controls were irreplaceable.
“It was what we had built up all our married life, it was our dwelling, all of our personal belongings, ” alleged Mrs Heath.
“It’s still upsetting to this day.
“Everything you’ve built up over your life is just gone. All the photographs have gone, all the recognitions, offerings from “their childrens”, all your personal things have gone.”
The summer 2007 deluges – in numbers
Surface ocean and creek flooding changed more than 55,000 the house and transactions across the country 7,000 beings were rescued 17,000 families had to leave their homes 13 people succumbed Thinks moved shortly after the floods employed the total losses at about 4bn, of which insurable losings were reported to be about 3bn Image caption Image caption Image caption
4x average June rainfall in parts of North York moors and South Pennines
30, 000 people had to leave their homes in Hull
40, 000 lost influence in Sheffield when a substation was inundated
800 owneds flooded in Tewkesbury
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