Flood Barrier

Thames Flood Barrier

The Thames Flood Barrier is an impressive structure built to protect that area from flooding. Construction of the structure was completed in 1982. It was built in response to the floods in 1953 which claimed the lives of 300 people, all which drowned. Nearly 200,000 acres of farmland was also rendered unusable for a time. To prevent another similar disaster, the city looked into ways of protecting itself in the future, constructing a flood barrier became the agreed upon solution.

The Thames flood barrier took eight years to build and required an investment of £100 million. It covers 420 meters across the Thames. Construction of this movable marvel began in 1974 and was finally completed in 1982, eight years later. For individuals interested seeing this impressive structure, it can be reached via boat or road and can be accessed from Greenwich and Westminster.

The Thames Barrier was built to protect the southern England up until 2030. There is some concern, or at least some discussion regarding whether or not that timetable will be affected by global warming. If it is determined to be, then it is likely that it will be necessary to improve the vast construction sooner rather then later.

The barrier is made up of four primary gates. The gates are as high as a five story building and each one is 61 meters wide. Every gate utilizes hydraulic power to open and close. Since being built the Thames Flood Burrier has been used 64 times and one time every month as a test.

There a number of ways for cities to be protected from floods. Commonly used methods include levees, sandbags, walls and barriers such as the Thames flood barrier. Each of these can very effective in this regard. What a city determines is right for them will be dependent on a number of things, each which will be of importance to that particular area. Common considerations might include cost, preference and the ability to realistically use the structure in question.

Even though structures similar to the Thames flood barrier wouldn’t be ideal for every city, there is little doubt that it has worked for the area. It has not only served it purpose well, but it has proven to be a great tourist draw. It has become a popular site to visit. Tourists often marvel at the construction and with good reason. It took a remarkable amount of ingenuity, skill and engineering to design, create and then build the barrier. Whether or not more city officials will emulate this structure to protect their cities from flooding remains to be seen. What is certain is that this structure works extremely well.

Flooding can be very dangerous. Not only is there the potential for loss of life but buildings and property can also be destroyed. It is very important that local governments do what they can to improve the safety of the areas they govern. The Thames flood barrier is one example of a flood protection option which has proven to be very effective. Not only has it helped to protect the area but it has also has become something of a tourism magnet.

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