In Depth

What to do in the event of a flood

More than 400 homes and businesses in UK are flooded. Here’s how to cope

More than 400 homes and businesses in the UK are flooded today – and the number is “likely to rise” – after Storm Dennis brought more than a month’s worth of rain to the UK in just a few days.

River levels were still rising and there were 385 flood warnings or alerts – eight of them severe, meaning there is a risk to life – still in place for England, Wales and Scotland at 1pm on Tuesday.

A woman died in Worcestershire yesterday when her car became stranded near Tenbury Wells. Yvonne Booth, who was 55, was swept away by flood water, leaving her family “devastated”, the BBC reported.

The eight outstanding severe flood warnings refer to the rivers Lugg, Severn and Wye in both England and Wales. Major incidents have been declared in Wales, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

This afternoon, the BBC reported evacuations were still under way in Ironbridge, in Shropshire on the Severn, where it was feared the rising river might breach the barrier. Experts said the level would peak mid-evening on Tuesday.

How do I check for floods near me?

Flood warnings and alerts are issued by different agencies in different nations of the UK. In Scotland, check the Sepa website. In Wales, it’s Natural Resources Wales and in England the information comes from the Environment Agency.

The latest information is available online or via a 24-hour Floodline number (in Scotland, England or Wales, call 0345 988 1188; in Northern Ireland call 0300 2000 100.)

You can also sign up to receive flood alerts by text message, email or phone from the Environment Agency.

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Is it safe to drive through flood water?

No. The Environment Agency says just 12 inches (30cm) of water is enough to move a car. It advises not walking or driving through flood water and staying well away from swollen rivers.

What else should I do?

The Met Office advice is to Prepare, Act and Survive. This breaks down as:

Prepare:
  • Pack an overnight bag, including medicine and insurance documents
  • Check for flood alerts
Act:
  • Turn off gas and electricity
  • Move things upstairs or to another safe place
  • Move family, pets and cars to safety
Survive:
  • Call 999 if there is immediate danger
  • Follow advice from the emergency services
  • Keep yourself and your family safe

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