Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This image of Tewkesbury Abbey became a defining image of the 2007 inundates

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’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sheila Heath resolved up living in a caravan outside her flood-hit Tewkesbury home for seven months

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.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Army brings emergency drinking water supplies in Tewkesbury on 24 July 2007

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.”

Image copyright Gavin Dickson Image caption Sheila Heath reads the flooding has had a lasting impact on their own lives

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 Tewkesbury was cut off on 22 July 2007 Image caption Paul Williams suggests all levels of society to make progress following the flooding Image caption It looks like a lake – but this is actually Tewkesbury’s spate ballpark

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

Image caption Upton upon Severn, which is about seven miles north of Tewkesbury over the border in Worcestershire, was also badly hit by the floods Image caption Grahame Bunn’s wife Claire and their hounds were among those rescued by ship during the flooding in Upton upon Severn Image caption Claire Bunn and her husband Grahame, drew behind the saloon, in July 2017 Image caption Catherine Mackie reporting from the scene of inundating in Herefordshire in the summer of 2007 Image caption Homes and jobs were seriously damaged by the floods in Evesham Image caption A liquid recovery is carried out in Evesham

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