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Are you prepared for flooding? Sign up to Floodline Warning Service to protect your home or business
The floods last Christmas came as a shock for us all; however by signing up to Floodline Warning Service we can keep you up to date with all Flood Warnings in your area to help you be more prepared.
Most people were hoping for a white Christmas, but the residents of Yorkshire were instead hit by the wettest December in a century after Storm Desmond and Eva brought more than a month’s rain to the area in the space of a few days. The amount of rain in such a short time came as a shock for us all; however the sheer devastation of the flooding that followed was almost incomprehensible. The Rivers Aire and Wharfe were over a metre higher than any previous records, and in many areas in Leeds city centre, the river burst into the canal causing mass flooding in the most unexpected places.
The Environment Agency issued 22 Flood Warnings across Leeds from Boxing Day, however for many, these warnings were not acknowledged due to many residents and businesses not being signed up to the free Floodline Warning service. On the 26th December, residents who were signed up to the flood warnings received an advanced warning of any potential flooding in their area. This meant they were then able to take steps to protect themselves and, in some cases, their businesses. For example, in Allerton Bywater, one car garage owner had time to relocate all of his cars due to receiving the Flood Warning. However on Kirkstall Road, where only 20% of property and business owners are signed up to the Floodline Warning Service, they were not quite as prepared for the mass surge of water that flowed down the main road. Three months on, some businesses are yet to open.
You can be prepared. By registering to the service, you will receive an advanced warning of potential flooding in your area so you can take steps to protect yourself and your property.
You can receive the warning as a phone call to your house, place of work or mobile, or as a text message, fax or e-mail. To sign up and receive an advanced warning of flooding you can register by calling Floodline 0345 988 1188, or visit our website https://fwd.environment-agency.gov.uk/. Would your business stay afloat? A Business Flood Plan involves simple steps to successfully protect your property from flooding. This might include a list of actions you will take in case of a flood and the order you will take them in. If you feel your business would benefit from a Flood Plan, visit ‘Preparing your business for flooding’ on our website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-your-business-for-flooding
Could you be the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground during the next Flood Event? Flood wardens are volunteers who help ensure our flood warning messages reach the local community and are then acted upon. They act as our “eyes and ears” by updating us about the situation on the ground. We have around 30 locations across Yorkshire with flood warden groups or individuals, totals well over 200 wardens in total. Flood Wardens have an important relationship with the Environment Agency, reporting directly into our incident room in a flood event. We also hold annual Flood Warden seminars and recently celebrated the hard work of our wardens last month with a Flood Heroes event, as many go beyond their call of duty to help others in a flooding event.
Unfortunately, many communities along the River Aire do not have Flood Wardens despite being severely affected by the Christmas Floods. It is a great chance to get to know your community and act as a support when an incident happens. If you would like further information on any of the above or would like to sign up as a Flood Warden or start a Flood group in your area, please get in touch.
Heather Cottrill | Flood Resilience Officer