LOOKING BACK: When it was our turn for flood misery

The  1998 Easter floods

The 1998 Easter floods

2
Have your say

The terrible scenes from across the country of destructive flooding will have left many Peterborough area residents thinking ‘there but for the grace of God’.

It was Easter 1998 when this area suffered its last major flooding. We were lucky because although the floods were extensive there was relatively few homes that suffered the tide of misery such events bring.

Wansford suffered flooding in August 1912 when even the village pig came out for a paddle

Wansford suffered flooding in August 1912 when even the village pig came out for a paddle

I was duty editor for the ET that Easter weekend and I remember it vividly.

I went down to Wansford to see the extent of the flooding for myself and took a call on the office mobile (yes we only had one back then) from photographer David Lowndes who told me he’d hitched a lift on a helicopter and had some spectacular aerial pictures.

I remember the front page headline I wrote which was “Inches from disaster’’ after it had been suggested that this “once in a 150 years event’’ could have caused the flooding of Peterborough city centre if water levels had risen a couple more inches.

The newspaper sold out entirely and as well as several pages of stories and pictures about the flooding there was also by total coincidence a general feature about the River Nene.

Three men in a boat during the flooding in Wansford in 1998

Three men in a boat during the flooding in Wansford in 1998

We joked that to our readers it must have looked like we knew what we were doing!

Many of the best pictures were taken in Wansford including the one of men rowing down the main street in a dinghy.

I wonder if they or the photographer were aware of the picture below it taken in the same spot during the floods of 1912 and purposefully recreated it?

From those same floods which happened in August of that year are also pictures taken in Stanground and the city centre.

Spectators gather for the 1912 floods

Spectators gather for the 1912 floods

If you have any pictures or memories of floods please get in touch.

Flooding in Stanground in 1912

Flooding in Stanground in 1912

Another view of the 1998 floods

Another view of the 1998 floods