Flooding

Table of Contents

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Contact information

  • Emergency number during office hours: 01628 683804.
  • Out of hours emergency number: 01753 853517.
  • If you are vulnerable and need additional support you can call the support number on this page and a colleague may be able to put you in contact with a community support group who may be able to assist you. 

Before, during and after flooding incidents

If you have a concern about flooding or highway drainage and blocked gulleys in the borough, please report it through the Report a flooding or drainage problem webpage.

If you need to report an emergency situation, please call our contact centre via the numbers above.

The Environment Agency is responsible for managing main rivers such as The Thames, The Colne, The Cut and The Bourne, and provides flood warnings and response to any incident from the main rivers in the Borough. The council is committed to working with the Agency, the emergency services and with local people to offer assistance when flooding takes place.

Before, during and after flooding incidents, the council will help wherever possible by:

  • Closing roads if flooded.
  • Providing sandbags only where vulnerable residents need assistance to protect their homes (excluding outhouses) where there is an imminent risk of flooding. Sandbags will not be provided as a precautionary measure. Vulnerable residents are regarded as those who as a result of age, disability or illness are unable to take protective action to safeguard themselves or their property.
  • Looking after the elderly and vulnerable.
  • Providing evacuation centres' if large numbers of people are made homeless.

Please remember we are still in a national lockdown and we urge people to remain at home, as long as it is safe to do so. We are asking residents to stay away from flooded areas and rivers as they can be highly dangerous. There is also the additional risk of COVID-19 and residents are reminded to keep their distance from other people. Public Health England have advice on how to stay safe in and around floods.

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Other useful information

During severe weather vital information on school closures, revised bin collections, road conditions and other snow/ice related details can be found on our website and by listening to local radio stations. Information will be posted on the website and Twitter as soon as we receive updates.

For information on road closures please visit One.Network

If you have a concern about sewers please report it to Thames Water. Thames Water are responsible for public sewer systems, including managing the risk of sewer flooding, whether from clean water or foul water systems. 

Clearance and maintenance of ditches and watercourses is usually the responsibility of the riparian landowner who needs to ensure they are fit for purpose and clear of debris. The Environment Agency provides guidance for landowners on their riparian responsibilities.

Further information about roles and responsibilities for flooding can be found in the council's Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Flood codes and their meaning

Flood alert – A flood alert will indicate that flooding is possible and that you need to be prepared. Normally this means that rivers are likely to break their banks and spill out into the surrounding areas, flood plains and low lying roads and footpaths. 

Flood warning – indicates that flooding is expected inside properties and that immediate action should be taken. You should take action when a flood warning is issued and not wait for a severe flood warning.

Severe flood warning – indicated that there is severe flooding and danger to life. These will be issued only when flooding is posing significant threat to life or disruption to communities.

Additional links and contacts