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Jean Shaw

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1947 will go down in Great Britain’s history as the year
of the great flood.  Many parts found themselves
under water, and Littleport was no exception.

This life changing event was due to exceptionally
heavy rain and snow the previous year, followed by
sharp frosts.  

These caused breaches to occur in the
clay embankments of the three local rivers -

The Old West River, the Wissey, and the Little Ouse.

All three overflowed and the flat saturated farmland
was no match for the torrent of water.  

Much of the area was flooded and there were several reports of

water levels reaching as high as fifteen feet!

Whilst Littleport is still vulnerable because it lies below the water

levels, there’s comparatively little risk of flooding these days thanks to the work carried out to the banks of the Great River Ouse, the construction of the Denver Sluice, and the two new channels diverting the water away from the flat fertile countryside.

However, just a few miles away, Welney is regularly cut off by flooding, causing considerable frustration to anyone wishing to get in or out of the small village.

In severe winters, people still skate on the ice covering the flooded fields where cows and sheep normally graze, but years ago it was an annual event.  (See the video)

Map of Littleport