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Flooding

By | Jan. 2011
Page 1 of 14
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
2.1 The social disruption caused by floods can seriously undermine the quality of life of individuals and impact on the fabric of affected communities (Gordon, 2004). As well as the physical and health dangers of flood waters, the psychological impact of the emergency and aftermath causes longer term effects that may be exacerbated by stresses such as having to move out of the home, cleaning up, negotiating with insurers and getting damage repaired and goods replaced ( RPA, 2005). Even when the 'recovery' phase is over, there may be difficulties caused by living with the ongoing risk, obtaining and paying for insurance and the effect on house prices and community cohesion. 2.2 The economic cost of flooding in Scotland is estimated to average £31.5 million per year from inland flooding and £19.1 million from coastal flooding (Werritty with Chatterton, 2004). These broad-brush estimates focus on direct costs and say little about the social impacts of flooding in Scotland ( JBA, 2005). Media coverage, while often dramatic, is usually short lived and limited to 'rescue' situations and anecdotes of hardship. The people featured then disappear into the background and have to pick up the pieces out of the public view. 2.3 Over 170,000 residential and commercial properties in Scotland, some 10-12% of the total, are thought to be at risk of flooding at present (Werritty with Chatterton, 2004). However, a much larger group will be at risk in the future with climate change likely to result in higher winter rainfall (especially in the west), more intense summer storms and rising sea levels (Baxter et al., 2001; Hulme et al., 2002; Milly et al., 2002; Werritty et al., 2002). Further factors that will increase future flood risk include legacies of drainage systems that have inadequate capacity, poor building construction techniques and flood defences adapted to a former hydrological regime (Price and McKenna, 2003; Evans et al.,...

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