Floods are dangerous. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over, while two feet can sweep away your car. If you are being flooded, put the safety of yourself and your family first. Dial 999 if you are or somebody else is in immediate danger and need rescuing.
Herefordshire Council's role
Herefordshire Council is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and it has the 'lead' role in managing flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses across the county. We work with Emergency Services, Environment Agency, Met Office, and the utility companies to tackle flooding within the county. Together with other partner authorities and key stakeholders in Herefordshire we have produced a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. You can find the latest information from all of these agencies through the Flood information service.
Monitoring river levels
There are some known areas of recurrent flooding and you can monitor the Environment Agency's river levels and sign up to get warnings by phone, email or text message if your home or business is at risk of flooding. You can also monitor the river gauges on Gaugemap.
Flooding can occur anywhere - you do not have to live near a river, stream or reservoir to be affected. This is because the drainage system, whether open watercourses or pipes, can become overwhelmed by the amount of water it is expected to carry. In addition, when the ground is saturated even small extra amounts of rainfall can have difficulty draining away from gardens and enclosed spaces. Owing to the nature of this type of flooding, it is very difficult to predict where it will happen.
It is therefore important to consider the risk of flooding and take measures to protect our county and your property.
What to do during flooding if you have time
- Follow your personal flood plan. The Environment Agency has a template you can download (PDF)
- Put in place as soon as you can, sandbags and any flood protection products you have, like flood boards, airbrick covers, barriers or bungs to downstairs toilets. The National Flood Forum lists some of the products available.
- Switch off gas and electricity, if you know how to do this and it is safe
- For the latest information, tune in to a local radio station such as BBC Hereford & Worcester (94.7/104/104.6 FM/738AM) or Free Radio (96.7/97.6/102.8 FM) on a battery or wind-up radio
- Move important and sentimental items to where water cannot reach them
- If you can safely leave your property, go and stay with friends or family who are not at risk of flooding