Last updated: 19/02/2014
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Emergency Management - Flooding
Flooding of small parts of the County is a common problem - and
some say it will become more frequent as a result of global climate
Please use the links below for more information:
flooding information and advice pack contains the information
on these web pages, along with advice from partners and for those
people affected by flooding. If you have trouble opening the
document please contact us and we can send you a paper copy.
What we will do
The Council's approach to providing emergency assistance during
times of flooding is as follows:
- The Council will provide engineering advice on ways residents
can alleviate the risk of flooding to their properties if requested
and issue general guidance to all properties in the area of their
roles and responsibilities under the Land Drainage Act 1991. The
Council will provide, if possible, during times of severe flooding,
engineering advice on site to assist with the use of resources and
control the situation where appropriate.
- The Council will assist with the dissemination of Environment
Agency flood warnings where appropriate.
- Very serious flooding resulting in the need for evacuation of
houses, provision of temporary accommodation and the like is
covered by the Council's Rest Centre and Flood Plans.
If you live near the coast, there is always a possibility that a
combination of high tides and bad weather will threaten your
property with flooding, even though engineers will have done as
much as possible to reduce the risk of this happening.
However, even if you live inland, events over the past few
winters have demonstrated that exceptional storms can cause
flooding even on hill slopes, when the drainage system is simply
overwhelmed by the amount of water it is expected to carry.
In addition, when the ground is saturated even small additional
amounts of rainfall will find it difficult to drain away from
gardens and enclosed spaces.
The Council, at times of emergency, will be endeavouring to
protect the public at large and will not be able to assist a large
number of individual homeowners who may find their properties
We use Twitter to give updates on flooding and severe weather,
please follow us on Twitter using @cornwallcouncil or the link on
the right of this page to pick up any #tags being used.
Remember, you can call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 any
time night or day for real-time flood warnings and advice,
including registration to the Flood Warning Services.
Am I at risk from flooding?
The Environment Agency offers a flood warning system, giving
information to the public, media, Emergency Services and Local
Met Office also provide weather warnings for rain, ice, snow
and wind. Cornwall Council receive these warnings.
Use the Environment Agency Flood
Map to find the likelihood of flooding in your area (insert
your postcode for the area concerned). You can also check current
flood warnings in force from here and find more details on how
flooding could affect your home insurance.
The Environment Agency provides the Floodline
Phone Floodline to find
out if you can register for Floodline Warnings Direct. The
free service provides flood warnings direct to you by telephone,
mobile, fax or pager. You'll also get practical advice on preparing
for a flood, and what to do if one happens.
Sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct - Call Floodline
now on 0845 988 1188 or use their online flood
To view the latest information on flooding, visit
Agency for more information.
Using the latest available technology, staff monitor
rainfall, river levels and sea conditions 24 hours a day and use
this information to forecast the possibility of flooding. If
flooding is forecast, warnings are issued.
When there is a risk of flooding the Environment Agency issues
warnings through the media; they are broadcast on TV weather
bulletins and on radio weather and travel reports. Make sure you
know which is your local radio station.
Flood warnings are also displayed on ITV Teletext regional
weather pages (page 154) and on BBC Ceefax (page 419).
Reduce Flood Water Getting into your Home
Ideally, cover doors, windows and airbricks with plywood,
sandbags, metal sheeting or a 'bought in'
product made for the job.
Gas, Electricity and Water
- Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains. Find
out where these controls are well in advance of any flood
- Unplug all electrical items and store upstairs or as high up as
- Put plugs into sinks and weigh them down with something
Furniture and Appliances
- Move as much furniture and electrical items as you can
upstairs. Alternatively raise them up on bricks or blocks - this
may be very helpful for large appliances such as
- Move furniture away from walls, as this helps when drying your
- If you can, roll up carpets and rugs and put them upstairs
- If there is no time to remove curtains, hang them up over the
rail so they are kept above flood water
- Leave internal doors open, or ideally, remove them and store
You cannot replace sentimental items such as photos. Think about
permanently moving these upstairs, so you do not forget to move
them in the case of a flood.
Keep important personal documents in a sealed bag, and in a
location safe from flood water. These should include passports,
birth certificates, marriage certificates, contracts, title deeds,
Outside the House
- Move anything not fixed down into a safer location, e.g.
dustbins, garden chemicals, car oil and similar
- Move your car to higher ground to avoid damage
- Weigh down manhole covers outside the house to prevent them
being forced off and leaving a hazardous hole
If you wish to take flood precaution measures, these websites
are full of more detailed information:
The causes of flooding
Flooding of properties may occur if one or more of the following
- Rainfall fills rivers, streams and ditches beyond their flow
- Floodwater overflows river banks and flood defences onto flood
- Coastal storms can lead to the sea breaking through, or coming
over the top of coastal flood defences
- Blocked or overloaded drainage ditches, drains and sewers
overflow across roads, gardens and into properties
- Overloaded sewers can sometimes back flow into properties
- Rain can be so heavy that run-off cascades down hills and
- Rain soaks into the ground, causing ground water levels to rise
It is not possible to eliminate the risk of flooding altogether,
but many practical steps can be taken to reduce the cost of flood
damage repairs and speed up recovery times.
You can view up to date
flood warnings on the Environment Agency website.