Over the past year, treacherous weather conditions have been hitting the UK, whether it be sweltering summer days or icy winter mornings. These conditions have reached a zenith recently due to Storm Henk- which has- and still potentially can- lead to the risk of flooding, with water levels continuing rising following heavy rainfall and snowfall. Not only does this pose a current concern within Essex and Colchester, but it also highlights the long-term risks we need to prepare for as weather conditions are set to worsen and become even more extreme due to climate change, amongst other factors, in the coming years.  

Storm Henk has been catastrophic to many across the country- with Colchester being no exception (especially as it has previously been recognised nationally as a Flood Risk Area by the Environment Agency). The heavy rainfall, paired with blustering winds and snow, is causing river levels to rise and even burst their banks in some cases, such as the River Colne and River Stour. This has meant that flood warnings are being given to many as homes are expected to be affected by the overwhelmingly sudden influx of surface level water. Some are prepared for the possibility of flood waters reaching their homes, however those who are not could experience a brutal few days or weeks. 

David, a resident living in Kelvedon, says he has “seen the River Blackwater rising and rising” after the heavy rainfall, with the flooding surrounding the area “completely submerging” his usual dog walking routes, as well as the large puddles of water in the roads around the village as a result of this flooding often forcing him to “reroute his journeys in fear of damaging the car”. These challenges represent the minor, short-term, day-to-day concerns many people within Essex and Colchester feel as a result of the treacherous weather- which is only set to continue. 

With the intensity of the UK’s weather conditions predicted to worsen- evidenced through an increase in the total amount of rainfall and storm frequency’s- uncertainty still looms on how this will impact our local communities, environments and homes. Ultimately only time will tell, however precautions and preparations can be made to ensure the effects are stifled as much as possible.