Anybody near Birmingham on the 28th June this year would have been impressed by how much water came out of the sky. It rained heavier and harder than at any point I can remember whilst living in the Midlands and certainly since I have been working at Birmingham Friends of the Earth.
At our building ‘The Warehouse’, the first sign we noticed was when the sky went so dark that a few people began to joke about an upcoming apocalypse. This was shortly followed by a noise on our roof so loud that it resembled the hoofs of the four horseman.
I soon found a puddle outside the top office that caused me to fill with worry about leaking roofs. After staring upwards and not seeing any drips, I quickly realised it was caused by the rain laden coats of the cafe staff who arrived a few minutes too late.
There was no time to be relieved though. As the gutters filled up, they began to overflow into the building, causing what can only be described as a small stream through the bicycle shop.
Several maintenance volunteers jumped to the rescue armed with mops and buckets which were frantically wielded to soak it all up.
Looking over the street, we saw the gutters of the neighbouring roofs spewing out onto the street like waterfalls. It was clear that it wasn’t just our building that was taking a battering when we heard news that the homeless charity ‘SIFA Fireside’ lost a lot of their blankets and bedding to the storm.
As we learn more about the climate, we hear more about how it will make freak weather more likely. Whilst we have campaigned about it for years and installed numerous measures to bring down our carbon footprint, we are now learning that as well as trying to prevent climate change we also have to start adapting.
Since then, we have increased and rerouted our guttering, making sure that high volumes of water no longer go near the bike shop to prevent another flooding in our building in the future.
It is events like these that remind me of how important it is to keep on campaigning for a cleaner, greener, less CO2 intensive future and how necessary the work of Birmingham Friends of the Earth is.