Walking the Flood Plain

The rain woke me last night.  The hammering on the roof eventually forced me from my bed to make a cup of tea before retiring again to my new book.

Later on I surveyed the Exercise Yard to see river water flooding in from all corners but it had finally stopped raining for I decided to sally forth to check out the usual weak points in the defences.

Crossing the river at the old railway bridge I turned into Conway Fields.  The river had broken it’s banks in a number of places and lay across the footpath daring the unwary and foolhardy.  I am, however, made of sterner stuff and I was wearing my new non-leaky boots but even so it was impossible to negotiate the flooded path at the Sports Centre end.

I spent some time leaning on the parapet of the 17th century road bridge,. The river is squeezed between a concrete straight jacket here  and it roars swirling, surging, a dark, turgid brown with the occasional plastic bag or bottle careering onward spinning and pirouetting frantically.

When next I meet the river it had been squeezed around the town centre and further swollen by it’s convergence with the River Alne.  Now released from it’s concrete confines it spread over a wide flood plain.  On the far side a small group of muddy cows observed its progress suspiciously, obviously as though offended by the loss of their lunch.

Closer to home now, the river sweeps right in a huge arc and the flood plain moves to the inside of the curve.  Through the bridge and Oversley Green sits on higher ground.  The flood water now sweeps across the fields back towards Alcester.  I check out the footpath from town to Oversley to find it completely impassable.  An allotment holder leaning on the gate tells me the water is still rising.  A hopeful runner turns up hoping to get through.  Not today I’m afraid.

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