‘Flood’ the film: London under water.

‘Flood’ the movie;

A new film called ‘Flood’, to be released this August, is based on a book written by Guernsey-born Richard Doyle, now living on Dartmoor. He wrote the book in 2003 after spending two-and-a-half years researching the issue. The author has said he believes there is a real threat to the capital. He has called for the government to take “its head out of the sand”.

In scenes that may no longer be dismissed as far-fetched, the film is to follow what would happen if the Thames Barrier was overwhelmed and imagines how London would look if it was deluged by a surge of water.

See the movie trailer of Flood here. It’s powerful, it’s pure drama. Is it realistic, is it possible? You decide.

Westminster City Council reviews its flood plan;

Landmark buildings in central London – including Parliament, Whitehall and Scotland Yard – are to be reassessed for potential flood vulnerability.

Westminster’s head of contingency planning, Brian Blake, said: “Central London is very well protected thanks to the Thames Barrier to the east and Teddington Weir to the west. But given the uncertainty created by climate change and the intensity of some of the downpours we’ve had recently, it is only prudent to review our plans.”

Two weeks of sustained heavy rainfall could cause severe problems as drains, underground rivers and river defences struggle to cope, the council said.

As part of the review, the council’s flood review experts will explore the capacity of two hidden river systems, the Tyburn and the Westbourne, to withstand major flooding.

It will also investigate whether any further defences are necessary, such as strengthening or raising riverside walls, building further sewerage diversion tunnels or expanding existing ones.

The data collected in the review will be fed to other organisations and used to create a co-ordinated response to a flood which protects the life and wellbeing of the public and ensures minimal environmental and property damage.

Source quoted; here.

Check out London Resilience. They appear to be trying to warn Londoners of the effects on the capital of impending climatic chaos! Not sure their weather presumptions are correct though.

This entry was posted in Climate change, Extreme weather, Films Movies TV, Oceans, Politics, UK, Urban, Water. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to ‘Flood’ the film: London under water.

  1. Dave On Fire says:

    As always, it’s one semi-mad scientist who knows what’s going to happen but to whom no-one listens because of him being semi-mad. Not, say, a consensus of the scientific community being ignored because it’s just easier to ignore.
    Seriously, a flood of the Thames barrier isn’t impossible, it was designed for pre-climate change levels and the coming decades will see much bigger North Sea surges become likely. But… sod the barrier, what about all the people in the affordable new developments (still being built) on further along the estuary on the wrong side of the barrier? Talk about being sold down the river.

  2. Pete Smith says:

    Years ago I came across an excellent novel called, I think, ‘Goodbye Piccadilly’, which described what happened when a storm surge in the North Sea teamed up with a mad saboteur blowing up various dams and dykes along the Thames Valley. I spent ages reading it in a second-hand bookshop, got about half way through, didn’t have the money to buy it, went back the next day and the bugger was gone. So no spoilers here 🙂

  3. matt says:

    > Talk about being sold down the river.

    Lol, good turn of phrase Dave. Prescott’s the mad bugger. He was in charge when the Thames Gateway was put on the table as doable, breaking every sensible planning guidance in the process!

    The timing of this film is incredible. Even the director can’t quite believe his luck. 🙂

  4. Pete Smith says:

    Prescott was never the ogre he was made out to be. Blair had to keep him around for internal party political reasons, the ODPM was very cleverly designed to be too unmanageable to achieve anything but too big a target for a kill shot.

    Anyone read the book of the film?

  5. Pete Smith says:

    Of course, if we’re talking about London disaster fables, you’ll like this one Matt: ‘When The New Zealander Comes’ by Prof. Blyde Muddersnook, from The Strand Magazine, September 1911


  6. earthpal says:

    Well, fact or fiction, this film has got to be better than Waterworld! Remember that one? (sorry to lower the standards).

    The film does seem to have moved department heads into reviewing current flood risks and defences which is a good thing but the thought of Westminster under water is rather appealing.

    Just kidding of course. I’m looking forward to seeing the film.

  7. inel says:

    Well, I just saw the trailer on the official FLOOD website, and they have started a Flood (film) stub on Wikipedia too. I wonder when this will show in movie theaters outside the UK?

    There’s a more reassuring video clip of the Thames barrier, posted on YouTube last week:

    (P.S. Newsweek in America is different from the international version again this week, matt. More on that on my blog.)

  8. Pete Smith says:

    I looked for the original Richard Boyle book to take on holiday. The guy in Wetherstones looked it up on his compooter, it’s due for a re-issue in October, presumably to tie in with the film.

    How long before people start criticising the Romans for building Londinium on a flood plain?

  9. Pete Smith says:

    The ‘Flood’ site has a link to an Environment Agency page about the film.


    “Why is the Environment Agency supporting the film?

    The film is a complete work of fiction and portrayed as such but perfect for the big/small screen. The story line is far-fetched, suspending reality. It is very dramatic and over the top – as disaster movies are designed to be.

    The film is not based on fact. Recent modelling that the extreme conditions you would need to overtop the Barrier would in reality not occur. It is true that London is at risk of flooding but a flood like this would never occur.

    We have been working with the production company as the publicity for a film such as this provides us with an opportunity to get across the true function and role of the Thames Tidal Defence System to a wider audience.

    If it raises awareness of the risk of flooding and means that people living and working in London visit our website to find out their level of risk, then from our point of view our involvement will have been worthwhile.

    We also hope that this film will encourage other producers to use our great capital as a film set.

    A statement will be made in the credits, that the film does not intend to portray the actual operation of the Thames Barrier or Environment Agency (our) procedures.”

  10. Dave On Fire says:

    Wetherstones? You in the bookshop or the pub, Pete? Teehee

  11. Pete Smith says:

    Sorry, Waterspoons. 🙂

    They’re both palaces of culture in their own ways. A pint of Hemingway’s Old Heavy please, barman.

  12. Dave On Fire says:

    Indeed, one of my lifelong ambitions is to run a pub well-stocked with good books for the customers. I’d call it the Plank and Branches, and offer hearty vegetarian home-cooking alongside a selection of real ales. It’s never going to happen, but still…

  13. Pete Smith says:

    Dave, I have to ask, why “Plank & Branches”?

  14. Dave On Fire says:

    Because few things come as close to pure joy as a bonfire. Probably not that environmentally sound an activity to encourage, now I come to think of it, but fire resonates so deeply with the human soul it’s hard to resist. For all the damage it does, I do think that building a fire helps awaken environmental consciousness, as it’s one of the few forms of energy use where the whole cycle – from resource gathering to air pollution – is within our grasp, within our vision.

    We can try to come to terms with Peak Oil and global warming intellectually, but watching bits of tree turn white and black in an orgy of flame is so much more visceral, it forces us to regulate our wood supply to warm us through the night rather than setting the world alight or else burning out and leaving us cold.

    When I make a fire, I’m participating in my environment in a way I cannot hide from, hypnotised by and dependent upon a bright dancing chemical reaction. I’m also becoming a manifestation of one of the oldest – in many mythologies, the defining – activities of humankind, sympathetic in this act with the countless generations before me and (hopefully) after me.

  15. Pete Smith says:

    Blimey! Well, I did ask … 😎

    So, no direct relevance to beer and books then.

  16. Dave On Fire says:

    Not really – I just love fire. But anyone who comes for the whimsical name will stay for the beer, books and food.

  17. Pete Smith says:

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. Depends on whether your pub is brand new, boldly being where no pub has been before, or an old one renamed.
    I’m afraid I disapprove of gratuitous whimsical pub renames, e.g Slug and Firkin. A lot of historical connections are tied up in traditional pub names.

    On a related theme, BBC London TV this lunchtime was presented from the Greyhound in Sydenham, which is to close next week after 300 years. 9 pubs in South Lewisham have closed in the last 9 months. The general trend seems to be demolition followed by blocks of flats.

  18. Dave On Fire says:

    I agree, I’d envisaged this as a pub in a place previously bereft of pubs. But then, all whimsical names other than mine are pretty stupid.
    On pub (and shop) closures, I’m pretty sure my hometown of Stalybridge could outdo South Lewisham over the last few years. It’s a very broad trend, I fear.

  19. Pete Smith says:

    Maybe a separate trend. Pubs in the country and small towns have been closing for what seems like for ever. Firstly through the big brewers rationalising and streamlining, then selling off their entire property portfolio. Later, pub business was seen to be dropping off because of the growth of home drinking. The recent London phenomenon seems to be property-driven, based on the profit from demolition, rebuilding and resale. It would be interesting to know if other property hotspots like Leeds are seeing something similar.

  20. matt says:

    The Lifeboat would be an appropriate name for a pub in a flooded London me thinks. 🙂

  21. ashish says:

    If they gonna show this kind of a movie, people will scare rather than learn something from that movie. They should make some movies to spread awreness of GLOBAL WARMING and those movies would say ”what precaution should people have to take to stop global warming”
    And last but not the least but i’ll say that IT’S IMPOSSIBLE (BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR EARTH)

  22. matt says:

    Hi ashish

    I believe the new movie or film ’11th hour’, a Hollywood documentary film, also uses shock tactics but adds hope at the end of the film. I agree with your point whole heartedly; http://www.environmentsolutions.wordpress.com 🙂

  23. Liam Curran says:

    Good news from Lewisham. We have managed to persuade the mayor and cabinet to include the Greyhound pub you mention in a conservation area which would require the owners to seek permission before they tried to demolish it. However, the wider battle to secure planning laws that protect pubs continues as we have 9 pubs closed in our area in the past 6months.


    Liam Curran

  24. Pete Smith says:

    That is good news Liam. Is it definite? I lived in Sydenham for a while in the mid 70s, I never went in the Greyhound as even back then it had a less than savoury reputation, but as a piece of social and architectural history it should be kept.

    Is the Railway still open? The pub, not the transport network 🙂

  25. Pete Smith says:

    I’ve just finished reading the Richard Doyle book on which the film ‘Flood’ is based. It’s no masterpiece of literature, but it’s well-crafted and incredibly well researched. The destruction of London is caused by a ‘double whammy’ of a record storm surge up the Thames estuary, coupled with a raging fire storm started when a supertanker is blown into oil storage tanks by gale force winds.
    The publicity stills suggest that the fire component of the disaster doesn’t feature in the movie.

  26. matt says:

    Further up the coast they are taking natural combinations of storm surges and high tides even more seriously than ever before, now that climate change induced sea level rises are ringing alarm bells in their ears.

    Special task forces have been set up at regional level such as in Norfolk, to lobby central government and Brussels for strategy, policy, planning and funds to deal with flood control. Some decisions have been made to allow particular areas to be flooded, such as low level marsh lands. But this is all a big issue up there in the local papers, that and the odd youth inspired criminal act.

    Watching how far a ‘Spring’ tide (in our recent appalling summer) comes up at a North Norfolk harbour town called Wells-next-the-sea, I was fascinated to see how it transformed the landscape and potentially threatened the local town’s shops. If there had been a storm surge the peace and quiet of that day would have been shattered. The local flood defence system looked like it could do with updating. Of course parts of the lower town have been flooded before and the answer has always been to build the sea wall higher …. when funds allow.

  27. geog fans says:

    cheers really helped our geography project!!

  28. Pingback: wameza(dot)com » Blog Archive » Flood movie review

  29. crazy cooga says:

    You helped me with my home work project. 🙂

    I am collecting british films. I have about 10 now. I heard its an English thriller. Is this true?

  30. matt says:

    Yes it is. I haven’t seen it myself. Not really into disaster flicks. Reality is often scarier than fiction. 🙂

  31. Dazza Bizz says:

    There is a real risk to London though, look at the 6th and 8th paragraph and some of the first and then if you are interested read on…..


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