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Parts of the UK have suffered with devastating flood damage over the Christmas period.

It’s been heartbreaking to see it all on the News.

Complete house contents have ended up dumped in skips, including Christmas trees and piles of children’s Christmas presents.

Floods are getting noticeably worse in this country every year.

But local Councils are still allowing building of new houses on flood plains, adding to the problem.

We all feel deeply for the latest victims of floods, due to the heavy rainfall.

They’ve had their homes and businesses ruined, some of them three times in a month.

floods3But their problems aren’t over yet. For some of them, they’ve hardly started!

A few years ago,I was invited on a trip down the Mississippi, from Memphis to Natchez.
The main purpose of the visit was to be shown the effects of the latest bad floods and how they’re keeping records of everything.
But it seems that nobody is monitoring the long-term health of the flood victims.

In the 1960s, the town of Lewes, in East Sussex, including our school, the Lewes County Grammar School for Girls, was badly flooded. We shared the boys’ school. We went there in the mornings and they had the afternoons.
A team went into our school to clear out all the books, which were dried out and all re-used.
I can still remember the sickening stink as we sat in the desks in the classrooms. It went right down the back of the throat. And every time we opened a book, we could smell the mould and damp. It was horrible!
All of us from the same year stayed in touch, and we get together every few years.
About 25 years ago, I began to notice that many of my friends had rare illnesses. Too many of them were ill for it to be a coincidence.
Out of around 90 of us, five had Multiple Sclerosis, two had Lupus, one had collapsed lungs and finally died, one had dropped dead at the bus-stop on the way to school, several had severe arthritis, and three of the teachers had died of cancer in their 20s and 30s.
Why? What was the link? We all lived in different parts of the country and had led different lives.
Of course! The link was the floods.
The Old School arranged a school reunion. When I saw the number of wheelchairs being unloaded from the back of cars and vans, I knew that something was seriously wrong.
lewes-floods2Could floods be dangerous?
I contacted a Professor at the Sussex University.
Very dangerous, he told me. Sewage is a killer. All the toilets and sewage pipes would have been washed out into the streets and houses. And Weils Disease, from rats’ urine, is deadly.
Next I contacted our local sewage department. I was told their workers are all vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, and Weils Disease.
Then I wrote an article for our local paper.
The response was enormous.
I discovered more sufferers of MS and cancer, both in our school and at the boys’ school, as well as other local residents.
One boy had gone blind overnight!
The boys’ school wasn’t flooded, but a lot of pushing and shoving went on in the flood water!
I heard from a long-lost friend. Her mother had read my article. She was dying of MS!
Sadly she has since died.
My close friend was sceptical. Why had the young teachers died, and not the older ones?
Well, who would have done all the work, carrying piles of books tucked under their chins, breathing in the fumes while the senior teachers supervised?
In 2,000 the floods came again. They flooded Lewes, plus Uckfield along the river.
A crowd of us gathered at the bottom of the town to watch the fast-moving muddy water. There’s nothing like a tragedy to unite a town!
lewes-floods1Loads of disposable nappies were floating around everywhere. That hadn’t been a problem in the 60s!
Of course, the usual ‘everyone look at me!’ posers were wading through the water, and pushing each other around.
A chocolate bar floated past. Someone plucked it out of the water and ate it!
I wanted to scream at him, but I didn’t.
After the floods left, I interviewed people, both in Lewes and Uckfield.
Anyone who had gone in shops and houses to start clearing flooded buildings had suffered with sore throats and diarrhoea.
But the major effects won’t materialise for a long time.
My theories, once pooh-pooed at, have now become accepted facts.
Everything was dumped, including copper pipes from the builder’s merchants.
Plaster was stripped off walls, and floorboards were ripped up.
Anything touched by flood-water was condemned as dangerous.
Just as I’d said for a long time. I was right all along!

The Mississippi floods are recent enough for long-term research to be carried out.
So are terrible floods in many other parts of the world, including the UK.
Japan, of course, is different due to the radioactivity leaks. But their tsunami damage is separate to that. I don’t doubt that there’s a load of testing being carried out there!
Maybe new University investigations can be set up.
flood2Doctors can keep everyone informed. They won’t be breaking any oaths. They will only be releasing statistics.
What has happened since any floods within living memory? Was there an increase in certain illnesses?
Advertising and publicity can ask for information from sufferers about their ailments.
Of course, most of the people involved won’t be able to see it through to the end as it will be an ongoing investigation for many years.
It probably won’t find any cures for illnesses, but it may make it possible to recognise and diagnose the symptoms much quicker.
I do hope that a lot of experts take this challenge up.
Please keep me informed. And feel free to contact me in confidence if you want to.

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About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.