Erratic weather patterns are becoming the norm and may well be a consequence of climate change. Recent heavy down pours have shown that flooding isn’t just a winter phenomenon. Flash floods are quite difficult to predict so weather forecasters can’t be blamed for not predicting one in your street.
The Environment Agency has a phrase for areas susceptible to flash floods – rapid response catchments. A catchment is an area of land that drains into one particular watercourse. If heavy rain falls in that catchment the watercourse rises rapidly. In many suburban areas watercourses have been channelled, or worse still, culverted under roads and properties. Such restrictions are susceptible to blockage. A flash flood can happen in minutes, not hours, in a rapid response catchment.
Whilst a Met Office weather warning (as seen on TV weather forecasts) can be quite general, the Environment Agency operate and maintain over 2,500 river level monitors across England and Wales, so there’s a high probability that there’s one near you in your catchment area. www.GaugeMap.co.uk will show you where it is and you’ll be able to follow it on Twitter. The Twitter feed is updated every 15 minutes so you shouldn’t be caught out by a flash flood.
What good is signing up to the Environment Agency’s Floodline Warnings Direct?
The simple answer is they cover ALL bases – landline, email, mobile and text message. Add the fact that you'll be warned wherever you are when using the mobile services which enables you to put your flood plan into action from afar (through neighbours or friends) and it becomes a no-brainer. It’s also free for property owners within flood risk areas.
Don’t wait for a flood to happen – act now! Call 0345 988 1188 or visit www.gov.uk and click on Flooding & Extreme Weather to access online sign up.
- Know your risk
- Be prepared
- Have a plan