Flooding

Contents

Flooding emergency

If you think there is a threat to life

Call 999 and ask for Fire and Rescue.

If water is blocking roads or pavements and causing a danger

Call Surrey County Council on 0300 200 1003.

If you are calling outside normal business hours, please hold for option 3 (Roads and Transport) followed by option 2 (Highway and Traffic Signal Emergencies).

Report flooding

When you are able, report flooding to Surrey County Council so we can investigate it:

Report flooding online

If there is any sign of sewage

Call your water provider Thames Water on 0800 316 9800 or Southern Water on 0330 303 0368.

If a river has burst its banks

Call the Environment Agency 24-hour Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

If you lose power

Report it via Power Cut 105 by calling 105.

Rest centres and sandbags

Contact your local district or borough.

Flooding in your home

If your home floods, it's important to report it to the right organisation/s to get the help you need. Every house flood must be logged individually so it can be investigated properly.

For immediate help, use our emergency contact numbers. When you are able, report flooding online so we can investigate it.

Report flooding online

  • Turn off gas, electricity and water.
  • Keep updated as best you can via local radio stations.
  • Check on vulnerable relatives and neighbours in flooded areas if it is safe to do so. If you are concerned about someone you cannot reach, contact Adult Social Care at Surrey County Council or out of hours contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01483 517898 or email edt.ssd@surreycc.gov.uk.
  • If it is not safe to go outside, stay indoors unless advised to evacuate by the emergency services.
  • If you are asked to leave your property, you will be told to go to a nearby Assembly Point from where you will be transported to a Local Authority Rest Centre.
  • If you leave your home in a high flood risk area to stay somewhere else, tell the Police on their non-emergency number 101, Surrey County Council's contact centre on 03456 009 009 or your district or borough, where you have gone, who is with you and how you can be contacted.
  • Keep your pets indoors and away from flood waters.

Flooding at your business

It's important to make sure your employees, customers and visitors are safely evacuated from flooded areas in your business. If it is not safe to go outside, stay inside unless advised to evacuate by the emergency services.

For immediate help, use our emergency contact numbers. When you are able, report flooding online so we can investigate it.

Report flooding online

  • Do not enter the building if it is flooded.
  • If you have a flood plan, put this into action.
  • Contact suppliers for alternative delivery locations or cancellations.
  • Notify your customers.
  • Work from home or alternative workspace as arranged in your business plan.
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water if you are in the building.
  • Remove any business-critical documents and secure your premises.

Surface water flooding

Surface water flooding, pluvial flooding, flash flooding, cloudburst and storm runoff are all often used to describe flooding that can occur after a heavy downpour.

The rain hits the ground quicker than it can drain or flow away. When very heavy rain falls on hard surfaces drainage and sewers are often overwhelmed.

This sort of flooding is difficult to predict, it often happens quickly with fast flowing water that could pose a risk to life. It is also more likely to happen during intense summer storms but can occur any time of year.

Water builds up and develops the potential to flood properties. In some places, it forms isolated puddles in ground depressions and in others it accumulates in valleys and flows downhill towards rivers. Typically, surface water flood events have localised effects, impacting properties in close proximity to where the rain fell and for a short amount of time.

However, some surface water flooding can be geographically extensive and remain for a long period of time. Water can build up in local depressions almost anywhere, thereby potentially affecting a far larger proportion of the land's surface and many more properties than river flooding.

Whilst you can never fully mitigate the risk of flooding, protecting your business can play a major part in reducing the flooding impact.

The Environment Agency offers advice and practical steps to protect your business in 'Would your business stay afloat?'.

You can also check if your business is at risk of flooding by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 (24 hours).

Flooding on roads, pavements or land

If you think there is a threat to life

Call 999 and ask for Fire and Rescue.

If water is blocking roads or pavements and causing a danger

Call Surrey County Council on 0300 200 1003. If you are calling outside normal business hours, please hold for option 3 (Roads and Transport) followed by option 2 (Highway and Traffic Signal Emergencies).

If there is any sign of sewage

Call your water provider Thames Water on 0800 316 9800 or Southern Water on 0330 303 0368.

Flash flooding, burst water mains and blocked drains

Flash flooding, burst water mains and blocked drains can all cause flooding. These issues are important but may not be significant enough for emergency action. Please follow the advice below.

If part of the road or pavement is flooded

The flooding may be temporary. Following lots of rain, drainage systems can sometimes struggle to clear large amounts of water. When this occurs, just a small amount of further rainfall can cause temporary flooding. This usually disappears once the weather improves.

Please wait 24 hours after the rain has stopped, to allow the water to drain away. If there is still a problem report it to us.

Report flooding online

Flooding in a park or on private land

Please tell us about flooding not on the highway but in a park or on private land so we can investigate it.

Blocked drain or gully

Please see our Drainage webpage for information and to report a problem. Please note we aim to clean all drains on the public highway at least once every two years, although some drains will be cleaned annually or twice a year.

Following lots of rain, drainage systems can sometimes struggle to clear large amounts of water. When this occurs, just a small amount of further rainfall can cause temporary flooding. This usually disappears once the weather improves.

Please wait 24 hours after the rain has stopped, to allow the water to drain away. If there is still a problem after 24 hours, report it to us.

Report flooding online

Blocked ditches

Most ditches alongside the roads belong to the adjacent landowner. The owner of the ditch has a responsibility to maintain the ditch and ensure water can flow freely. If you know who the landowner is, please report this directly to them.

Surrey County Council is responsible for maintaining a small number of ditches. If we are responsible for the ditch, or if you are unsure who is responsible for maintaining the ditch, report it to us.

Report flooding online

Flooded streams or poor drainage on land

For these local issues, Contact your local District or Borough.

After a flood

Read advice from UK Power Networks on getting your electricity reconnected after a flood.

If you believe your property has been contaminated with sewage please contact your water provider Thames Water on 0800 316 9800 or Southern Water on 0845 888 1188.

The National Flood Forum (NFF) provides free, independent advice and support on a range of issues from dealing with your insurer to practical advice for getting back on your feet. They can even help families find alternative accommodation.

Find out more about flooding insurance for your home from Flood Re, a joint initiative between the Government and insurers. Its aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable.

Small businesses

  • Only return to your premises when it is safe to do so. Remember your business may need to be inspected by your utility company before power and water are re-connected.
  • Contact your insurance company. Don't throw away damaged items until you have checked with them. If your business doesn't have insurance, the National Flood Forum can offer help and support on 01299 403055.
  • Take photographs to document damage and record the floodwater height.
  • Contact your customers and suppliers to let them know about the disruption to your business.

Preparing for flooding

See our page on preparing for flooding to find out if your property is at risk, how to get flood alerts, making a flood plan and flood kit, and other useful advice and information.

Checklist for small businesses

  • Make sure you have flooding insurance in place. Take a look at this directory of insurers compiled by BIBA, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Flood Re.
  • Produce flood safety information for staff including an emergency contact list.
  • Create a digital list of important contacts such as Floodline, your local authority, insurance details etc.
  • Purchase flood protection products such as sandbags.
  • Sign up for Flood alerts from gov.uk.
  • Create a flood plan for your business including alternative workspaces.
  • Make sure your files are backed up by offsite providers or in the cloud. If you have paper files, keep them off ground level and make copies of important documents to store in a safe location.
  • Keep an emergency kit in an accessible place and a grab bag with a copy of your flood and important documents. including your insurance documents.
  • Make sure you know how to turn off your utilities.

Storm Henk flood recovery grant funding

If your home or business was affected by flooding from Storm Henk (2nd January 2024 to 12th January 2024), you may be eligible for financial support. This funding is available through the Government's Flood Recovery Framework.


Community Recovery Grant for residential properties

If you live in Surrey and were flooded during Storm Henk, you may be eligible for up to £500 to help with immediate costs.

To be eligible, flood water must have entered the habitable (living areas) of your home or made your home unliveable.

Garages, outbuildings and gardens are not usually considered habitable areas of your home for the purposes of this grant. This grant is only available for your primary home. Second homes and empty homes are not eligible. Student accommodation is not eligible.

A property may be considered unliveable where:

  • access to the property was severely restricted (e.g. residents trapped in upper floor flats by flood water)
  • key services such as sewerage, water and power supplies were severely affected
  • the property was affected by sewage flooding
  • the storm caused so much damage to the property that it would have been advisable for anyone living there to vacate the property, regardless of whether they did so or not

Council tax relief

If your home was flooded, you may be eligible for 100% council tax relief for at least 3 months. The eligibility criteria is the same as for the Community Recovery Grant above.


Property Flood Resilience Grant Scheme

Eligible property owners can apply for up to £5,000 to help make their homes and businesses more resilient to future flooding. More information on eligibility and the application process for this scheme will be made available here when we receive it from the Government.


Business rates relief

Commercial businesses that were flooded may be eligible for 100% business rate relief for at least 3 months.


Business Recovery Grant

Small-to-medium sized businesses in eligible affected areas can apply for up to £2,500 to help return to business as usual.


Farming Recovery Fund

Farmers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their land may be eligible for up to £25,000 through the Farming Recovery Fund for repair and reinstatement. This grant is administrated by DeFRA and we will provide a link to their application form when it is available.


How to apply

To apply for Storm Henk recovery financial support, contact your local Borough or District council.

Any information provided will be shared with Surrey County Council to record impacted properties, help with flood recovery, process and verify the flood recovery framework grants, and to inform current and future flood risk management actions. We do not share information with insurance companies. For more details about how your data may be used, please see our privacy statement.

If you have not already done so, report your property flood online so that we can investigate it.

Report flooding online

You may need to provide evidence of the impact of flooding to prove your eligibility. Suitable evidence could include:

  • photos or videos showing the extent of the flooding (with electronic time/date stamps)
  • Council call reference numbers
  • insurance claim references (if applicable)
  • a statement of impact from resident/landowner/business owner
  • details of stock/equipment affected

More information

Take a look at these useful links or contact our Flooding team for more information: flooding.enquiries@surreycc.gov.uk

Flood Risk Strategy

Surrey Flood Risk Partnership Board

The Surrey Flood Risk Partnership Board is a group of representatives from a number of organisations and authorities that have responsibilities or interests regarding flood risk in Surrey.


Surrey Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

As the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Surrey, we are responsible for publishing a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. This document sets out how we manage the risk of flooding across the county.


Flood risk local partnerships

The Environment Agency, Surrey County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority, and all Districts and Boroughs, and water companies, are the Risk Management Authorities in Surrey. They have a duty to cooperate with each other to manage flood risk.


Regional Flood and Coastal Committees

Surrey County Council is represented on the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.


Flood Risk Regulations 2009

The regulations were enacted in December 2009. They outline a set of tasks, which the county council is required to follow between now and approximately 2015. The regulations also implement the 2007 EU Floods Directive.


Flooding asset register

The flooding asset register includes key assets (structures and features such as a wall, ditch or bridge) that are known to cause or allow the major flooding of properties, critical infrastructure or block major roads when the asset is not functioning to an adequate level. More details are on this page.


Surrey S19 Flood Investigations

This page includes information on Section 19 Flood investigations and a link to FAQs.


Water supply companies

Links to local water supply companies and other useful links including OFWAT.


Living near a watercourse

Living next to a watercourse

Do you have a watercourse, such as a ditch, stream or river running through, or alongside, your property? If so, you are probably responsible for its maintenance and in legal terms you are a 'riparian owner'.

This page gives more information about your rights and responsibilities.


Ordinary watercourse consents

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Surrey County Council (as the Lead Local Flood Authority, or LLFA) is the consenting authority for proposed structures and obstructions within a watercourse, which require consent under section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

These structures and obstructions may include dams, weirs, culverts (pipes) or any other structure which affects the flow of water within the channel.


Preventing surface water

This page gives details of your responsibilities for water running off your property onto roads.


Flooding and wetspots

A wetspot is a term we use to record the location of a reported, recurring flood incident which is unlikely to be solved through our day-to-day activities. This page gives information on how to report wetspots and how we deal with them.


Planning applications

Sustainable Drainage Systems

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are now required on all major planning applications in England.

This page provides a summary of the information and a checklist of the evidence needed to show that SuDS have been satisfactorily considered within the application, in accordance with national and local planning policy.

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