Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Floods Cause Havoc!

As large parts of England and Wales brace itself for yet another barrage of heavy rain and very strong winds it is unsurprising to learn the Met Office has issued ‘red warnings’ for North-West England and Wales with risk to life and widespread damage expected. Southern and Central regions have not gone unscathed as there are as many as sixteen severe flood warnings across Berkshire, Surrey and Somerset. The heavy rain which has been coming down since December has already resulted in entire villages becoming islands and widespread road and rail closures, and it doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.

For many Royal Holloway students living in Egham and the surrounding area the floods are a real danger. For one particular resident of Strode Street, Egham, each day brings new anxiety over how long their home will remain dry. The same resident has commented that “people are sandbagging because of puddles everywhere. Also the road to Burger King (the A30) is completely flooded”

Other areas of Egham, such as Vicarage Road, have been far less fortunate so far. Speaking to one resident, they report that their neighbour’s ground floor is completely flooded – to the extent that they are now forced to use a dingy to access their house.

“The water comes up as far as your waist. I saw the guys living there accessing the house with a dingy.”

The floods have proven themselves, thus far, to be a very real threat to the residents of Egham, and far from just a concerning news story which we can put to the back of our minds.

Yet the floods are not only an issue for students here in Egham, as many have done and shall continue to experience serious disruptions to transport when attempting to travel to South Western regions. One student’s journey to London Paddington took “almost an hour longer than usual.”

“It’s an inconvenience and I know a lot of people are experiencing similar if not worse issues, like my housemate who lives in the South West. It is disconcerting not knowing when your train will arrive and how long it will take. It ruins your whole day.”

Royal Holloway has been helping the surrounding community. Food meant for the cancelled open day on the 12th of February was given to flood victims, and to combat the ever rising water, staff and student volunteers from the university have been working with the Flood Relief Centre, giving out food and toiletry packs to those stuck in houses, as well as helping out with the placement of sandbags.

Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager at Royal Holloway, said:

“We aim to continue to support local residents who are in need, and plan to make preparations for the clean-up when the water levels fall.”

Article: Tom Mellish

Photographs: (Main); (Featured).