Press release

Environment Agency warns of significant flood risk in northern England this weekend

Communities in northern England should prepare for significant river flooding Saturday evening (14 November) and into Sunday 15 November 2015.

The Environment Agency is warning communities in northern England to prepare for significant river flooding this weekend as heavy rain is expected to fall on already saturated ground.

Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, North and West Yorkshire are the areas currently most at risk of significant river and localised surface water flooding on Saturday evening (14 November) and into Sunday 15 November 2015.

Environment Agency teams are already working hard to prepare by checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses, deploying high-volume pumps, preparing temporary defences, monitoring water levels and issuing flood warnings where necessary.

Two 24-foot long, high-volume flood water pumps have been dispatched from an Environment Agency depot in the south west and are set to arrive in Cumbria on Friday afternoon. They are capable of pumping 120,000 litres of flood water per minute.

The flood risk comes as heavy and persistent rainfall – a month’s rain could fall on localised high ground – affects parts of northern England on Saturday evening and into Sunday. Many northern parts of the country are already saturated after days of wet and windy weather. The outlook is set to remain unsettled into next week.

People can be prepared by checking their flood risk and keeping up to date with the latest situation. If travelling the public should not attempt to drive through flood water – 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

Steps people living in areas at risk should take include:

  • Checking on vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours
  • Installing flood protection measures to your property if you have them
  • Rolling up carpets, removing curtains, moving valuables and electrical items upstairs or to higher ground
  • Placing important documents, such as insurance information and passports, in waterproof bags
  • Making sure you know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies

Craig Woolhouse, Environment Agency Director of Incident Management, said:

River levels across northern England are already high and are expected to rise with this further heavy rainfall, bringing with them a significant risk of flooding. We are working closely with the emergency services and partners to prepare ahead of the weekend. Our teams are already in action clearing watercourses, maintaining existing defences and standing ready to deploy temporary pumps and defences where these can be effective.

We urge people to be prepared by checking their flood risk and keeping up to date with the latest situation at or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.