Newground is currently delivering a programme of flood support across the North West to increase awareness and preparedness of flooding on behalf of the Environment Agency, assisting communities at risk of flooding to improve their flood resilience. This includes raising awareness of the Environment Agency’s free Flood Warning Service and providing assistance with property level flood planning.
Following the flood event in Darwen on the 21st October 2017, Newground has undertaken a community impact assessment on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (BwDBC). The results of this engagement work identified several areas where residents felt they would benefit from some further information and support to help them become more flood resilient.
Darwen is a flash flood area, meaning that Flood Warnings may not always be received in time and that residents should be as prepared as possible. You can find out more about flash flooding here.
There are still a number of residents not registered to receive flood warnings. The Environment Agency operates a free Flood Warning service which is designed to give you prior warning of a flood. It is recommended that residents register to receive flood warnings as it can provide valuable time to prepare.
Having a home or business flood plan in place is a great way to become more flood resilient and helps to minimise damage and the impact of flooding. Homes and businesses with a flood plan in place experience less damage and disruption and have a quicker recovery following a flood event.
For more information on flood planning, see our ‘How to make a Flood Plan’ infographic here.
Protecting Your Property
In addition to putting a flood plan in place, there are physical steps you can take to prevent your property from flooding. Property Level Resilience (PLR) is the term used to describe both ‘flood resistant’ measures (stopping water entering your property) and ‘flood resilient’ measures (minimising damage and aiding a quick clean up).
Different types of buildings have various water entry points, if you are unsure how to best protect your property, it is recommended that you consult a reputable flood resilience contractor or have an independent property level resilience flood survey of your building undertaken.
Many residents reported that their building and/or contents were currently uninsured, either through not being able to obtain insurance cover due to living in a flood risk area or being unable to afford the premiums.
Flood Re is designed to make affordable home insurance cover in flood risk areas accessible to all. By insuring through one of the companies signed up to the scheme, premiums and excesses are capped according to the council tax band of a property, to ensure policies remain affordable.
Reporting a flood and blocked drains
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is a Unitary Local Authority and is therefore responsible for blocked highways drains and surface water. The Environment Agency is responsible for river flooding and flood risk issues; such as blocked culverts and fallen trees within the river. You can report issues through to the correct agency on the numbers below:
- Block highway drains/gullies (BwDBC) – 01254 273829
- Surface water flooding (BwDBC) – 01254 585585
- River flooding (Environment Agency) – 0800 80 70 60
Keep in contact with your Local Authority
At times of local incidents, social media is a great way to receive updates. You can follow BwDBC on Facebook and Twitter on the following links:
BwDBC Facebook (Roads): https://www.facebook.com/BwDRoads/
BwDBC Twitter: @blackburndarwen
Priority User Services
You may be unaware that you can register with your gas, electricity and water providers for extra support and services, completely free of charge. These support services are intended to be tailored to your specific needs; such as the provision of a generator during a power cut if you rely on electricity for medical equipment at home, or a knock and wait service if you have mobility issues and cannot get to the door quickly. United Utilities also offer a mental health help line completely free of charge.
For more information contact your utility service providers and enquire about Priority User Services or check their website online.
United Utilities: https://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/priority-services/
Community Flood Group (Blackburn Road)
Flood groups are a great way to build on community flood resilience through preparedness, response and planning. Volunteers working together to form a flood group often provide a much needed cohesive and structured response to dealing with flooding and flood related issues in their area.
They can help to build strong links and relationships with various agencies; such as the Environment Agency, Local Authority and Police, as well as improve their communities overall resilience to flooding. They can also provide assistance to the more vulnerable residents of the community who may require help at the time of a flood or crisis.
For more information on flood groups, see our Flood Action Groups infographic here.
Newground can help to develop a flood group in your area. If you would like to support or become actively involved in the formation a flood group for your local area please contact Andy Ainsworth at Newground on 01254 265163 or 07872 060011.