LGA Raise Awareness of Flash Flood Impact

Published June 17, 2016 at 16:31

Awareness campaigns are being launched by councils nationwide to highlight the dangers of flash floods which can wreak havoc across communities in just minutes.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, is warning home owners and businesses at risk from flash flooding to be prepared. This means regularly checking forecasts; knowing how to turn off gas, electricity and water; and having a contingency plan for moving essential items upstairs quickly. If flash flooding hits, people should never try and walk or drive, councils warn.

It only takes 15cms of fast-flowing water to knock an adult over and 60cms to sweep away a 4×4 car or small lorry. Flash flooding can lead to an inch of rain falling in just 15 minutes.

The advice comes as research suggests the nation’s summer weather is becoming more volatile and global warming is leading to a spike in flash floods. Earlier this month (June), a major incident was declared in Cheshire, after flash floods hit. A clean-up operation is currently underway. Elsewhere, flash floods left cars submerged as torrential rain hit south London.

Rossendale Council is also reminding its residents to take advantage of the Flood Resilience Grants still on offer and get their applications in to us.

Now councils up and down the country are launching awareness campaigns to highlight the dangers of flash flooding to residents and businesses. They are also working in tandem with police and other emergency services to minimise disruption and help get affected families and businesses back on their feet.

The LGA has also called for developers to introduce a raft of new measures to ensure new homes and businesses are better protected against floods. It wants the Government to bring in mandatory anti-flood requirements for new homes in building regulations. These include raised electrical sockets, fuse boxes, controls and wiring above floor level; ventilation brick covers; sealed floors; and raised damp-proof courses.

New flood defence funding should also be devolved by the Government to local areas, with councils working with communities and businesses to ensure money is directed towards projects that best reflect local needs.

Cllr Peter Box,LGA Environment spokesman, said: “Flash floods can bring devastation to communities within a matter of minutes, causing enormous disruption to families and businesses. Councils up and down the country are doing everything they can by launching awareness campaigns to highlight the dangers.

“They are also working closely with emergency services, such as the police and firefighters, to minimise disruption to residents and businesses and help get hard hit families back on their feet. We would advise families and households at risk of flash flooding to keep a close eye on weather reports, know how to turn off their gas, electricity and water and have a contingency plan for moving essential items upstairs. If flash flooding hits people should never try and walk or drive. Just 15cms of fast-flowing water will knock an adult over and 60cms will carry away a 4×4 car or small lorry.

“Councils continue to give their all for flood-hit areas. The sense of community spirit across the country and huge efforts of council staff who have worked long hours and with little rest has been inspirational. “



Greater Manchester        

A clean-up operation is under way after flash floods caused widespread disruption across parts of Greater Manchester and Cheshire. Some people were forced to leave their homes during the deluge in Poynton, while a landslide affected the train line between Stockport and Disley. Firefighters used rescue boats to help move people to a temporary emergency centre. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-36510683

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire County Council and the Environment Agency are urging households and communities across the county to be aware of the dangers of flash flooding. http://emergencynorthyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=30754&textonly=False


Don’t be caught out by Flash Flooding this summer – be prepared! Around 130 properties in Bacup, Crawshawbooth, Rawtenstall and Rossendale were severely affected by flash flooding after almost 80mm of rain fell in a 12-hour period.

Tandridge, Surrey      

Earlier this month (June) a powerful thunderstorm caused flash flooding in Caterham and Whyteleafe and the surrounding area, including flooding of properties and businesses. In response to the incident Tandridge District Council, Surrey County Council and Surrey Police worked together to deal with the problems caused by the rainwater.  http://m.tandridge.gov.uk/news/news.htm?mode=10&pk_


A public awareness session is being held at Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge Primary School.  The drop in session is a follow up to the issuing of information packs to local residents. http://www.telford.gov.uk/news/article/431/flash_flood_drop_in_session


Sutton Council worked with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and the emergency services to clear the centre of Wallington following a flash flood there. An intense thunderstorm saw almost one month’s rain (3.5cm or 1.4 inches) fall across the borough in an hour. An average of 4.9cm (1.9 inches) of rain normally falls during the whole of June.  http://www.newsroomsutton.co.uk/?p=3468


Cars were piling through two feet of water in Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, after Monk’s Brook burst its banks. http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/14179033.UPDATE_AND_PICTURES__Flash_floods_cause_chaos_across_Hampshire/

Boscastle, Cornwall                      

The picturesque Cornish village was ravaged by a wall of water in 2004, which left some of it in ruins. The torrents even carried some cars down into the harbour. The cause was massive localised flooding, with an inch falling in just 15 minutes at one point – almost half an entire month’s rainfall. It was estimated that 440 million gallons of water travelled through Boscastle that day.


Dorset app helps flood-hit north

An online tool designed by Dorset County Council has been used to help people affected by the recent flooding in the north of England. The county council’s geographical information systems (GIS) and flood risk management teams worked with the Environment Agency to develop the web-based app called SWIM to help recovery efforts in the aftermath of serious flooding. http://news.dorsetforyou.com/2016/01/11/dorset-app-helps-flood-hit-north/


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