Flooding

photo of a lake

In Wales, the equivalent of one in six properties is at risk of flooding. There are three main sources of flooding: coastal, river and surface water. Of these sources, coastal flooding has the potential to have the greatest impact. Excessive tidal levels may cause coastal and estuary defences to be overtopped or breached. River and surface water flooding may be caused by excessive rainfall. Surface water flooding occurs when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drainage capacity of an area and road drains can’t cope. There has been a lot of investment in flood alleviation schemes (commonly known as flood defences) to reduce the consequences for all types of flooding in Wales. People can also be prepared and protect their homes with flood protection.

Local Flood Risk Management

In April 2010 the Flood and Water Management Act received royal assent. An integral part of the Act is to provide for better, more comprehensive management of flood risk for people, homes and businesses.

Within Wales the Welsh Government has overall responsibility for all matters relating to flooding and coastal erosion including the setting of national policy in relation to flood and coastal erosion risk.

However, the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 recognises that it is not possible for one organisation to deliver the full range of flood and coastal management services. The Act therefore places a duty on all flood risk management authorities to co-operate with each other in relation to the management of flood risk.

At a local level, the Act places a responsibility upon the Local Authorities in Gwent, (as Lead Local Flood Authorities), to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management (Local Strategy). The Local Strategy will form the framework within which communities have a greater say in local risk management decisions. In combination with the National Strategy, the Local Strategies will encourage more effective flood risk management by enabling people, communities, business and the public sector to work together.

Preparing for Flooding

Flooding can happen quickly, so preparing in advance can reduce the damage and disruption flooding can cause.

  • Find out if you can get free flood warnings sent to you by phone, text or email.
  • Visit Natural Resources Wales for up to date flood warnings.
  • Have a flood plan in place to protect yourself, your family, your home and your business.
  • If you are able to go to family or friends if you are evacuated from your home, make arrangements now. This will form a key part of your personal flood plan.
  • Have your emergency kit in place.
  • Ensure that insurance covers flooding. Find out if it replaces damaged items for new and whether there’s a limit on repairs.

If Flooding Happens

  • Ensure the safety of your family and yourself.
  • Follow your flood plan to protect your home of your business.
  • Switch off your gas / electric supply.
  • Tune into your local radio station on a battery or wind-up radio to stay informed of any developments.
  • Protect what you can by moving pets, vehicles, valuables, sentimental items and important documents to higher ground where it will be safer.
  • Plug sinks / baths or low level trays and weigh them down to prevent backflow.
  • Follow the advice of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water regarding the safety of the water.

You should be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety. Put the safety of people first and listen to advice from the police and the emergency services. Remember that their concern is for your safety.