I followed the water levels fastidiously. I have them marked up on my wall and I have the webpages of information on all the time.
The water, like my neurosis, was rising. The latter faster than the former. I stocked up on tins, dog food, dark chocolate and plums. I was ready, I was prepared, but I still stood on the bank measuring, drawing chalk lines on the hill and wondering what it was I should be doing.
In such situations it is best to email Wisdom on these matters. I had spoken to lock keepers and others but I still couldn't make up my mind about what, if anything, to do...other than to pack the dog off for higher ground.
It was only when I was on my boat and PJ asked whether I was home because he was arriving that I realised just how worried I was. I wasn't worried about the things you might expect, I was just having trouble knowing what to do and I knew something needed to be done, even if that something was nothing. PJ arrived and decided it was time to move the boat to the lock. I had already made various phone calls and it was the right thing to do.
'BUT THE BRIDGE' I said.
Fortunately PJ knows all about bridges and the Thames, and going sideways and even going backwards in through them whilst in forward gear. If anyone was going to take me through the bridge it was going to be PJ. So he did.
PJ is great because he knows what he is doing, doesn't have a point to prove and knows me well enough to know that if I needed to do something he could rely on me to follow clear instructions and I would do it. Anyone else would just consider me useless but detachment is my forte. Fortunately I didn't need to use it.
We arrived at the lock shortly before we left the mooring and stopped in time and impressed everyone there - PJ is good, now everyone knows it. I am not sure my screaming and pale face was exactly the way I wanted to arrive, but arrive we did. safely.
I am now moored up safely.
My companions in the field left the following day and went upstream to safety. I walked over last night and I rather miss them. It was fun being moored together but now we are apart.
Some boaters decided to weather the storm and have remained. Scaffold poles have been positioned and wellingtons purchased.
While I was browsing the internet in my frenzy I came across this useful bit of information here
The top point is very important to remember.
Floodwater is dangerous
- Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over.
- Two feet of water will float your car.
- Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, leaving hidden dangers.
- Don’t walk or drive through flood water.
- Don’t let children play in flood water.
- Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks.
- When water levels are high be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over.
- Culverts are dangerous when flooded.
- Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
- Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it may be contaminated.