(I’m sorry this is so late, I’ve been on holiday with no internet.)
Today is the 16th of August 2016. What does this mean? Different things to different people I suspect. Well, today marks the 12 year anniversary of the 2004 Boscastle Flood, a disastrous event in a picturesque little village in Cornwall.
On this day 12 years ago, up to 180mm of rain fell within a few hours on the high valley sides above the village. It rained for about 5 hours, a miserable summers day that would have made visitors understandably regretful about their choice of holiday destination. At 4pm a wall of water 3 metres high swept through the centre of Boscastle, pretty much obliterating everything in its path including bridges, homes, shops and most famously cars, which were swept away by the torrent whilst onlookers videoed the scene with their mouths open. The video footage of the disaster is quite spectacular and quite honestly surreal. I would suggest looking for YouTube videos if you haven’t already seen it because it’s incredible!
A couple of years ago, I studied the Boscastle Flood as a flooding case study for my Geography GCSE and it kind of stuck with me for reasons I have yet to find. Maybe it was the fact that such a catastrophe happened in such an unexpected place.
To my excitement, I got to go to Boscastle yesterday afternoon on a blisteringly hot day and, surprisingly enough, I found it hard to imagine the trickling river becoming a gushing torrent of water. Of course, I made an effort to go to the Boscastle Visitor Centre in order to jog my memory about the flood. There I found out that approximately 440 million gallons of water flowed through Boscastle that day in August. A staggering amount bearing in mind that an elephant drinks about 18,250 gallons of water annually. Therefore, Boscastle flood waters would be enough to provide for more than 24,000 elephants for a year.
That’s a lot of water.