Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting


Earlier this year we were staying at a camping and caravanning site called Briarfields in Gloucestershire, UK. We’d had a great week, beautiful weather but on the day before we were due to go home the weather changed and heavy rain was predicted overnight. About 5 am I woke up to hear what sounded like water running underneath our caravan. My first thought was “that rain is heavy” my second was “oh, sh*t*. The reason. It was a river, not rain. Little did we know, but aΒ 15in (38cm) water main had burst in the lane behind the camp site and the water had just poured through the woods and straight underneath our caravan. It was flowing really fast, extremely cold and was about 4-5 inches deep. I had to stand in to get our caravan moved to drier land.

Twelve thousand homes and businesses in Gloucestershire lost their water supply when the main burst. For us on the camp-site though things were more worrying. The camp-site lies on a slight slope. That’s why the water was running under my caravan, but in other parts that water was starting to form a small lake and was rapidly creeping up to the doors of caravans. Obviously if the water got in they would be ruined. However, cars couldn’t get in to tow the caravans out as the water was already too deep for them. Fortunately I have a high sill four-wheel drive as did another camper and we were able to tow out caravans that were in trouble. At one point the water was up to my knees and I’m 6ft 2″ tall.

Anyway to the waiting part. We were due to depart that day but we had to wait for the fire service to pump the water away. There was a problem though, the nearest place they could pump the water to safely was a good 800 metres away which meant hoses had to be laid for that distance. Fortunately the fire service have a vehicle which carries the hoses and makes the job easier.

In the image below you can see a fire-fighter waiting to start the pumping operation. He can’t do anything until the hoses have been laid and he gets the go-ahead

As you can see a the hose he is sitting on is taking the water from the flood site. Look at the thickness of it. When they did finally get the go-ahead it took several hours for them to clear all of the water from the camp-site

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36 comments

    • Thanks Patti, To tell the whole story I would have required a much bigger post. I didn’t mention being interviewed by the local news which was aired a lunchtime and in the evening

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  1. Great photo of a waiting firefighter! He looks like he might be daydreaming. Maybe he got a little bored waiting for the go-ahead.

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  2. The firefighter has a “waiting” face and that alone is perfect. Your story definitely adds to this week’s photo challenge. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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