flash flooding

We are seeing the words ‘flash flooding’ more often these days. With climate change happening all around us, flash floods are becoming more common, not just in the UK but across the world. 

The term ‘flash flood’ refers to a flood that happens when heavy rain, often associated with thunderstorms, falls in a short period of time and underlying ground cannot cope with the vast amount of water, or drain it away fast enough. 

In July we saw flash flooding across Europe as well as in the UK; London, Edinburgh, and the South of England, to name a few, all experienced heavy rainfall, leaving many towns and cities underwater. 

“Flash floods usually happen during intense rainfall - when the amount of water is too much for drains and sewers to deal with. It can occur very quickly and without much warning.”

Floods do not just affect homes and businesses, but also damage “key public infrastructure including transport networks and hospitals. In London, some hospitals had to ask patients to stay away after they lost power.”

Urban areas are generally more affected by ‘surface water’ flooding because they lack green spaces. When rain falls in these areas “it can't soak into the ground as it would do in the countryside.”

“In many places - including much of the UK - old sewer systems were built based on historic rainfall projections.” These sewer systems “cannot cope with the huge increase in population”.

“Many factors contribute to flooding, but climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely.” This is because “a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture and so these storms become more intense.” So, we need to act now and do what we can to prevent the devastation caused by flooding. 

Dealing with these flash floods is essential to protect towns and cities from the effects that flooding can have on their property and themselves. 

“Dr. Linda Speight, a flood expert at Reading University, says urban areas could benefit from changes like "permeable pavements and green roofs that can help rainwater to soak away rather than causing floods".”

“Knowing that heavy rainfall is on its way can make it easier to mitigate against the risks of flash flooding.” Therefore, signing up to flood warnings can help you be prepared for flooding and reduce your risk.  

It is vital to understand that “living away from a river does not necessarily mean you are safe from flooding.” Flash floods can affect anyone, anywhere, regardless of where you live. 

To protect property and its contents, it is recommended that you create a flood plan. Knowing what you have to do in a flood instance, can save time. Simply moving valuables to higher, safer places or having an emergency flood kit are just a few examples of how you can be prepared. 

You may also want “to take preventative measures.” Such as when “making changes to your home, choose tiled flooring instead of carpets and move plug sockets further up the wall.”

You should be prepared for flooding, regardless of where you live. Whether this means simply signing up to flood warnings, having a flood plan in place, or taking more resilient measures and making your property flood ‘proof’. Being prepared will allow you a better chance of protecting your property and reducing the damage flooding may cause.

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London hospitals during the recent floods

Photo: BBC website (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-53075473)

Flooding can affect all kinds of businesses. There was some severe flooding in London over the weekend which left hospitals evacuating their patients and asking people to use other A&E’s if they required any serious care

The BBC reported this incident on Monday stating that:

“Whipps Cross is without power and evacuating 100 patients and Newham hospital is asking patients to use other A&Es for urgent care.

Ambulances are being redirected after torrential rain caused severe flooding in homes, roads and stations.”

Patients also had to be rerouted to neighbouring facilities, 

“A spokesperson for Barts Health NHS Trust which runs both Newham and Whipps Cross hospitals, said: "Patients are asked to attend alternative hospitals where they can. A major incident has been called across the Trust."

Greater London residents were forced to take action to protect their homes with some “residents on a street in Woodford, in east London, grabbed buckets, brooms and wooden boards to prevent rising rainwater from flooding their homes.”

We can’t ignore the strain on the emergency services, 

“London Fire Brigade says it has taken more than 1,000 flooding-related calls.

It rescued people trapped in cars and is helping those with flooded basements and collapsed ceilings.”

Education is key when it comes to flooding and the impact it has on everyday lives. Once you have an understanding of your risk, you should be signing up to flood warnings so that you can prepare if a warning is issued. Having a flood plan in place is also advised, so that you know what to do in a flood event and can react accordingly.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help companies deal with these types of flooding incidents, please contact us at… 

Read the full story on the BBC Website clicking here

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Flood Future

Who me? Organized? My husband might tell you otherwise, but I do find it hard to keep track of our weekly schedule. You know: school, swimming, grocery shopping, tidying up, paying bills, remembering appointments and so on. Fortunately, in our house we all pitch in. No one person does everything. But we do have a little secret that helps our day run more smoothly.

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