Press release

Flood risk due to thundery downpours

Ahead of further heavy rain, the Environment Agency urges people to check flood risk and prepare for flooding.

Be #FloodAware

Be #FloodAware

With further thundery downpours expected today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), the Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk - especially if driving or staying in an unfamiliar location over the half term break. Communities in the South West of England are most at risk, including parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire and the West Midlands.

Locally significant surface water flooding impacts are likely from Thursday afternoon and into Friday due to these heavy and slow-moving thunderstorms. There is also risk of flooding from urban rivers and rivers that rise quickly.

The Environment Agency is again warning drivers not to drive through flood water. Driving through floodwater puts the lives of drivers and their passengers on the line, risks the safety of emergency responders, and often causes serious damage to the vehicle, with three-quarters of flood-damaged cars ultimately being written off. The AA rescued more than 14,500 drivers from floods between 2013 and 2017.

Kate Marks, Environment Agency flood duty manager, said:

Further heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms bring a risk of localised surface water and river flooding on Thursday and Friday. The main risk is for the Western counties of England, with urban areas are most likely to see the impacts of any flash flooding.

Throughout this period of unsettled stormy weather, our teams will continue to work 24/7 operating flood defences, clearing blockages in rivers and streams to ensure they flow freely, and supporting partners responding to any incidents of surface water flooding.

With heavy rain forecast during rush hour, drivers should stay up to date with the latest weather forecast and travel information before making their journey. We remind people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm can move your car. The public can check our active alerts and warnings – which are updated every 15 minutes – online or by calling 0345 988 1188.

Published 31 May 2018