Flooding At Baits Bite Lock

These pictures were all taken at the end of Fen Road Milton, just north of Baits Bite lock. On Sunday, 21st October 2001 the area was fine, although both the river and the award drain were very high but the rain had stopped and by evening the award drain and river seemed to have calmed down.

This is a shot I took on Sunday, in the late afternoon. It's the award drain (the water on the right) as it reaches the river (flowing right to left across the top of the photo). The drain is high, but everything that should be dry still is, other than some standing water in the field in the background. Note how high the bridge parapets are above the water.

Today however a very different story. This set of pictures was taken at 12:30 on Monday, 22nd October 2001, less than a day later.

This is the view that confronts you as you go down towards the river. To the right of the road the award drain has burst its banks and there's a river a good 6" deep at the ridge running across the road. It flooded across the road last winter but nowhere near this deep ...

... as you can see here. Having paddled through the water to the one spot of dry land at the end of the road here is that same bridge I took the photo of yesterday, now covered in water. The bridge is in the middle, the river is running past me behind the crash barrier and has burst its banks both sides. The end of the award drain is the patch of water on the right surrounded by grass.

Compare this photo above taken today with the photo below from last winter:

... then the water just got to the bottom of the poo bin pole. This year it's well past that. Note the height of the bridge parapets above the water too. (Also note the benefit of having a new camera, see footnote below). It's still rising. It wasn't this deep at 8:15 this morning.

Here's the start of path to Clayhithe along the river bank. You don't want to go that way either.

And the water creeping across the fields towards the lock keeper's cottages

... and Biggin Abbey on the other bank.

And finally a view north across the fields of Milton Fen. Last winter it took some days for this to start to fill and, eventually, it flooded Waterbeach railway station car park. This time it's going to take a lot less time I fear.

This second set of photos was taken on Tuesday, 23rd October 2001 at about 8:15am. It rained again overnight, although not as heavily as we feared it might.

The water level is a little higher and the area where I was standing yesterday at the end of the road (immediately behind this car), which was a little dry island yesterday is now under water so, having got two pairs of shoes wet yesterday I decided not to go to the end.

The big difference to yesterday is the amount of land covered with water. This panorama is the field to the right of Fen Road with the railway line on the extreme right and the lock keeper's cottage to the left on the strip of land.

... and this is the view the other way looking down Milton Fen towards Waterbeach which is now one vast lake.

Luckily the railway line here is on an embankment to keep it above the flood plain.

On Wednesday, 24th October 2001 I went down again at about 8am. It was raining intermittently and it had rained again overnight, but the water level is down by about a foot and Fen Road is back above the water.

I took my little Fuji as it fits in my waterproof jacket pocket so these two were taken with that. Here's that bridge over the award drain again, no longer under water although the Haling Way up to the lock is still under water and both lock gates are still wide open.

and to finish off here's a rainbow over the lock keeper's cottage as the rain got heavier.

Meanwhile, they're having fun elsewhere too:

For links to other pics of the last floods see the bottom of my old flood page.


Several people have mailed me asking about the new camera. The old one was a 1.2MPixel Fuji MX-700. A good little fixed focal length camera, which I suspect I will still use, as it's very compact.

The new one is an Olympus C-2100UZ. 2.1Mpixel. Fabulous 10x zoom, equivalent to a 38-380mm on a 35mm (plus another 2.5x digital zoom if you really want it), F2.5-3.5. Spot metering, movie mode, serial or USB interface (which works from Linux via gphoto2 so I will be able to do USB downloads on to my laptop, handy on holiday).

It's sort of SLR, in that the view finder is a tiny LCD so it shows you what the camera is seeing. It is the canine's testicles. Jeff pointed me to this review of it which has pictures of the camera.

By the way one reason the pics look better is that I used "sharpen" in PaintShopPro after I'd shrunk the images (always a good trick for smallish web images), which I didn't do last time. But even after applying that to the old image, which I've just done, it's still no where near as good.