My country is under red alerts for weather. That means that the weather we are experiencing poses risk to life.
My country is used to bad weather – us Brits are born with webbed feet you know – but this winter has given us weather the likes of which we haven’t experienced for more than 250 years.
Since before Christmas there have been parts of the country under water. Literally, under the water. Rivers have burst their banks, water tables have risen, flood plains are swamped. People have lost their homes, their businesses, their livestock, their futures.
And still the storms keep raging.
Today saw a fresh onslaught to our west coast, and the North West where I live has been given a red alert by the Met Office. We have had extreme winds and rain which has caused total havoc all over the place. We have hundreds of trees blown down crushing parked cars, lorries blown over – one crushing a car on the M60 at teatime today – buildings collapsing, people being blown over, roads closed, motorways closed, a train station evacuated because power lines were brought down on the roof causing a fire. The ppromenade at Blackpool has been closed for safety (the streetlights were bending like Caribbean limbo dancers on the news) and Liverpool water front has been shut too. Schools and universities have closed early as a precaution and we have had football matches cancelled because of safety concerns.
Social media platforms have been awash with accounts of things being blown away (barbecues, roofs, chimney stacks, fences, a shed, bins, even someone’s rabbit hutch ended up four houses away) and it is still raging. It genuinely does feel like Armageddon out there.
Our little island is used to wet and windy weather but this is something else. They tell us it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
My prayers are for those who are not as fortunate as I am. I am thankful for the roof over my head and my secure windows and doors, and for the heating I have enjoyed today. Thousands and thousands further north from her don’t even have power tonight to keep warm by. My thoughts are with them.
Red alert? Definitely!!