Drone Footage Helps UK Authorities Understand Devastating Floods

Throughout December the UK was hit by some of the worst flooding in recent history. A month's worth of rainfall in under 24 hours left many areas in northern England, Scotland and Wales underwater, with thousands evacuated from their homes. Now, drone footage is helping authorities understand why so many rivers burst their banks, and what can be done to prevent similar flooding in the future...

A team from the University of Salford have been examining the causes for floods in northern England, and using pictures from a drone were able to survey around 60km in a single day. Footage from the researchers' UAV suggests that excessive management of what would normally be considered as floodplains has limited their ability to trap water in times of heavy rain.

The spectacular pictures show that the drainage channels on the floodplains were returning water to rivers too quickly, causing them to burst their banks and flood further downstream, causing chaos in a number of towns and cities.

Speaking to the BBC, Neil Entwistle, from the University of Salford's School of Environment and Life Sciences, said that "because we have the UAV we can access areas really quickly and because of the height we can fly at, you don't have to get very close to the river - You can get all the images from 500m away".