Don’t be caught out by Flash Flooding this summer – be prepared!

The Environment Agency is staging an awareness event to support communities at risk of flash flooding in Whaley Bridge and the surrounding areas.

Taking place on Tuesday 6th August 2013 at Whaley Bridge Uniting Church, Buxton Road, the event will provide information and guidance on recognising the signs of flash flooding, how to prepare and what actions to take if a flash flood occurs.

The event will run from 7.30pm to 9pm, with everybody welcome to attend.

For further details, contact Lynsey Cottle at the Environment Agency on 07917 246 493 or email lynsey.cottle@environment-agency.gov.uk

Flash flooding can occur suddenly with little or no warning – often before the emergency services have time to arrive. It tends to happen when heavy rainfall runs off land and quickly swells rivers and streams, and can also occur where drainage systems are overwhelmed by intense rainfall.

Because flash flooding can happen so quickly, there may not be enough time to issue a warning or for emergency services to get to the scene – which is why it is essential householders and communities develop flood action plans in advance.

Vital advice which should be used in any flash flooding action plan includes the following:

  • Look out for heavy rain, rising water levels with churning, dark water or a build up of debris in rivers and streams;
  • People living and working in basement or single-storey accommodation are particularly at risk, as are people staying in tents and caravans or people unfamiliar with the area, such as tourists;
  • It is important that your action plan considers warning friends and neighbours, and knowing where to go if you get caught in a flash flood;
  • If you can’t get away in time, then move to higher ground or move upstairs if you are in a building with two or more storeys;
  • Never walk or drive through floodwater as 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.

Caroline Berry, Flood Resilience Team Leader for the Environment Agency, said: “While we cannot prevent the rain or prevent flooding entirely, we can help communities become more resilient, which is why we want to increase awareness of the dangers in vulnerable areas by giving people guidance to develop their own action plan to keep themselves  safe if such events occur

“Knowing your flood risk is the first step to protecting your family and property. Once you know the risks, you can put measures in place to stay safe.

For more information and advice go to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood, contact the Environment Agency’s National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506 or email FlashFloodNorth@environment-agency.gov.uk

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