Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Après moi le déluge

I left Gloucester, UK, after a conference at the University of Gloucestershire Oxstalls Campus Sunday morning July 22. The Gloucester train station being closed due to flooding, I managed to snare a seat on a sold-out bus to Heathrow only after a lovely and persuasive Italian woman had charmed her way onto the bus and then revealed that she needed two seats, not one. "Anyone traveling alone?" "Alone" is my middle name, and I made my escape.
At the time I knew that much of Gloucestershire had been flooded, including the beautiful new auditorium at the Oxstalls campus, but I thought the waters were receding, the sun was coming out, and the worst of the flooding was over. Not so. Gloucester's water treatment plant had been flooded, but treated water was still running on Sunday morning. The water ran out on Monday (apparently, heroic efforts saved the local power plant) and is only now being restored! Relief funds are being collected in a special campaign by the Mayors of Gloucester and Tewkesbury and by the British Red Cross.

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