Is enough being done to tackle extreme weather in Herts?

Standon Calling was called off due to flooding

Standon Calling was called off due to flooding - Credit: Twitter/Peter Wooding

Hertfordshire, it seemed to me, was not an area that is associated with extreme weather or flooding.

But dramatic weather events have been become more and more common over the last 20 years and have affected all parts of Britain.

This July has played host to a series of mini heatwaves, with cycles of rising temperatures and sometimes humidity followed by stormy skies and heavy rainfall.  

Saturday  July 17 was the hottest day of the year so far. It saw people flocking to the coast, high UV levels and temperatures hitting 33°C. Not to mention the heat had a negative effect on many of us trying to get a good night's sleep.

As has become more common this period of heat was brought to an abrupt end on the Sunday evening by dramatic rain. 

Heavy rainfall occurred again on Saturday July 25 and the Met Office issued an Amber 'danger to life' weather warning for London and the Home Counties.

It forecast that a large amount of rain would fall quickly potentially causing flooding, damage caused by lightning and treacherous driving conditions.  

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The practical realties of this forecast were seen in the county by events at the music festival Standon Calling. It was called off on Saturday evening due to safety fears over lightning and serious flooding.

The police and organisers worked together to escort the festival-goers off the sight as quickly as possible. No one was harmed nevertheless it was a chaotic end to a joyful, celebratory event. 

This year a four-year project will begin that is focused on improving drainage. Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has made a total of £16 million available to improve road infrastructure to try and combat the effect of heavier rainfall triggered by the changing climate.

This is a worthwhile and important investment but, due to scale of the project, HHC has suggested that 2021/2 are likely to be dedicated to an investigation of what needs to be done and some small scale works taking place this summer.  

Climate change is becoming more and more apparent: becoming more visible in weather changes and impacting our daily lives. The weather this summer has shown that we need better infrastructure sooner rather than later in Hertfordshire and throughout the rest of the country.