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Connelly, A., 2017.

Get Me Out of Here! Assessing Ambridge's Flood Resilience

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Custard, Culverts and Cake
Publisher:Emerald Publishing Limited
Pagination:pp. 115-130

In March 2015, following unseasonable heavy precipitation, the River Am burst its banks flooding the village of Ambridge and causing one death and numerous injuries. The lines between fiction and reality became blurred when the BBC offered updates about the weather situation in Ambridge through social media. However, in fiction, as in reality, memories are short; recent village gossip in Ambridge has been dominated by other matters including a certain murder trial and the mix-up with Jill Archer's chutney. The flood has come and gone. In this chapter, I will examine the response to, and recovery from, the floods in Ambridge in order to ascertain what lessons have been learned, and whether enough has been done to make Ambridge more resilient to future floods events. I will show how the programme raised important issues in relation to flooding management in England today, and focus upon the increasing responsibilisation of citizens, the tension which exists between framing the flood response in terms of 'resilience' or 'vulnerability', and the need for people to find someone or something to blame for their misfortune. I conclude that The Archers could play a critical role in maintaining flood awareness in the future.