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Flash floods - what to do

Though flash floods are rare climate change and an increase in localised thunderstorms means they are happening more often.

Flash floods happen when an extraordinary and and exceptional amount of rain falls in a very short amount of time. They can be extremely destruction so it's important to be prepared!

Signs there may be flash flood includes heavy and severe weather, raising water levels in streams and rivers, fast flowing water causing debris to get stuck along watercourses blocking the flow of water.

If you see flood water it is important NOT to drive or walk through it!

Flash Flood Facts

Did you know ...

  • It only takes 15cm of fast flowing water to knock an adult over.
  • 60cm of fast flowing water can sweep a 4x4 away.
  • Most injuries - and even deaths - happen when people try to cross flood water on foot or in a vehicle.
  • Hidden dangers can lurk underneath flood water that you can't see - this can include exposed drains, debris and rubble.

If you are trapped always call 999

Cleaning up after a flood

Floodwater can be contaminated.

Following some simple rules when cleaning up can help reduce and prevent any additional health problems from the contaminated water.

  • Always wear protective clothing while cleaning up including waterproof boots and gloves.
  • Bacteria such as E. coli 0157 is often found in floodwater. Although it is likely to be diluted it can still be dangerous. If you or anyone you know has been in contact with floodwater and has an upset stomach they should seek medical advice. Always contact your Doctor if you become ill after swallowing contaminated water.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and clean water after being in contact with flood water especially before eating or preparing food.
  • Don't allow children to play in floodwater and make sure they wash their hands frequently especially before meals.
  • Help for vulnerable and elderly people returning to their houses is available from Social Services at Staffordshire County Council - call 0300 111 8010 for assistance.

If any of your property is damaged beyond repair throw it away. If you think it can be salvaged and clean make sure you use lots of hot soapy water and disinfectant - this includes on children's toys. Don't use any electrical equipment that has been in the water unless it has been checked by a fully qualified electrician.