Floods in St Ives


1998 floods, view of meadow at sunset

Description

St Ives is only about 10m above sea level and the river Great Ouse drains quite a large area of Eastern England. When there is heavy or prolonged rainfall the water is unable to flow out to sea fast enough and the river expands to fill the flood plains. These are intentionally maintained to accommodate the flood water. However, sometimes there is even too much water for the flood plains to cope with and flooding of surrounding villages and areas occurs.

In recent history 1947 is considered the record year for floods, with 1912 almost as bad. In April 1998 flood waters came within inches of the 1947 levels and once again in January 2003 the water reached approximately the same level as 1998, although it subsided a little quicker.

1998 Floods

Over Easter weekend in 1998, the Great Ouse water levels in St Ives came within a few inches of the record 1948 flood levels. The neighbouring village of Hemingford Grey was badly flooded.

Detailed account and pictures.

2003 Floods

In January of 2003 the Great Ouse water levels in St Ives came within a few inches of the record 1948 flood levels for the second time in five years. The flood waters subsided a little quicker than in 1998 so neighbouring villages were not quite as badly affected.

Picture story.


This site is a member of the St Ives Cambridgeshire WebRing.
Copyright 2004 David Bartlett