Councils working around the clock to support flood-affected

With wind and rain predicted to continue battering the nation in the wake of Storm Angus, councils are working around-the-clock to support flood-affected residents and businesses.

Council teams have been on hand to unblock gullies and culverts, have been issuing advice and holding awareness campaigns about how to deal with flash floods, and helping fire and rescue services clear flooded roads.

With the potential for more flash flooding in the coming days, 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: knowing how to turn off gas, electricity and water; and having a contingency plan for moving essential items upstairs or to safety 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 4x4 car or small lorry. Flash flooding can lead to an inch of rain falling in just 15 minutes.

In its Autumn Statement submission, the LGA is calling for new flood defence funding to 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.

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.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Environment spokesman, said:

"Councils are doing everything they can to minimise disruption to residents and businesses from Storm Angus and help protect communities.

"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 have been doing everything they can to prepare for heavy rainfalls this week by launching awareness campaigns to highlight the dangers.

"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 or to safety. If flash flooding hits people should never try and walk or drive through flood waters. Just 15cms of fast-flowing water will knock an adult over and 60cms will carry away a 4x4 car or small lorry."

Case studies

Bristol

Bristol City Council has said gullies blocked with leaves were being cleared to speed up the flow of floodwater off the streets. Some road closures were also in place.

North Somerset

North Somerset Council officers have been working around the clock to respond to flooding across the district.

Lancs

Roads were closed last night and a Flood Alert issued for the River Calder after torrential rain battered the North West Lancashire County Council removed culvert blockages.

Sheffield

Sheffield City Council has issued a warning about surface water on the city's roads this morning following flash flooding yesterday and more rain this morning. Council workers spent the night clearing flooded roads across Sheffield after torrential downpours left many under water.

Notes to editors

1. It only takes 15cms of fast-flowing water to knock an adult over and 60cms to sweep away a 4x4 car or small lorry.
Flash flooding can lead to an inch of rain falling in just 15 minutes – almost half the average rainfall for an entire month.

2. LGA Flooding page

3. Flash floods background

4. Climate change to boost summer flash floods, says study
Global warming will lead to a significant increase in extreme summer downpours in the UK, a study suggests.

5. Cost of UK floods tops £5 billion, with thousands facing financial ruin

6. Prepare your property for flooding
 

15 December 2016

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Matthew Cooper
Senior Media Relations Officer
Direct line: 0207 664 3007