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Surface water flooding

Be prepared

The Environment Agency can advise if you are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea and provides a free 24 hour flood warning service, but often there is limited advance warning for surface water flooding and the events are very localised.

The Met Office and local news, travel and weather bulletins will give you an indication of whether surface water flooding is likely or not. It's always useful to listen to any weather warnings that may be issued for your area. These will indicate whether heavy rainfall may be expected and give you time to think about what actions you can take to protect your property if you have nothing in place. The warnings are given a colour depending on a combination of both the likelihood of the event happening and the impact the conditions may have:

Warning types and colour
WarningNo severe weatherBe awareBe preparedTake action

Yellow: Be aware

Severe weather is possible over the next few days and could affect you. Yellow means that you should plan ahead thinking about possible travel delays, or the disruption of your day to day activities. The Met Office is monitoring the developing weather situation and Yellow means keep an eye on the latest forecast and be aware that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption of your plans in the next few days. Sometimes, due to the localised nature, the impact could be similar to the amber warning.

Amber: Be prepared

There is an increased likelihood of bad weather affecting you, which could potentially disrupt your plans and possibly cause travel delays, difficult driving conditions due to spray and standing water, road and rail closures, interruption to power and the potential risk to life and property. Amber means you need to be prepared to change your plans and protect you, your family and community from the impacts of the severe weather based on the forecast from the Met Office.

Red: Take action

Extreme weather is expected.  Red means you  should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather. Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely. You must avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.

Severe weather warnings are available to you in a number of ways, meaning you can always access the latest information wherever you are. This includes on radio, TV, the Met Office website, social media and smart phone apps. You can help by passing these warnings on to family and friends, or by sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media with your friends and followers.

Last modified on 15 November 2023

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