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June 1, 2018

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Flood Risk

Environment Agency urges people to check flood risk ahead of continued thundery downpours

With more thundery downpours expected today, the Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk – especially if in an unfamiliar location. 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 due to these heavy and slow-moving thunderstorms. There is also risk of flooding from urban rivers and rivers that rise quickly.

A report estimated that the economic cost to businesses, from the 2015-2016 winter floods alone, was £513m with approximately 50% of all insurance claims at that time being made by commercial businesses.

The Environment Agency is also 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 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.

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