Drought conditions being experienced across large parts of England and Wales could increase the risk of flash flooding, the Environment Agency has warned.
Dry, compacted soils mean that water is less easily absorbed into the ground, and so any future storms could lead to a greater risk of flash flooding.
“As the drought in England continues, the thought of flooding may be far from people’s minds, but we cannot ignore the risk. Dry and compacted ground means that there is a greater risk of flash flooding if there is heavy rainfall, and stormy seas and high tides can produce floods at any time,” said Environment Agency head of flood and incident management Craig Woolhouse.
The Environment Agency’s warning comes on the day that the world’s first social media flood warning application has been launched on Facebook.
FloodAlerts is a free to use application and was created and developed by online mapping specialist Shoothill. It uses live flood warning data from the Environment Agency and allows Facebook users to receive messages on their wall when a Flood Alert, Warning or Severe Flood Warning has been issued for river and coastal flooding in their location.
“We created FloodAlerts on Facebook for the simple reason that social media is now becoming the de facto first choice of many of us to get latest news affecting their lives,” said Shoothill MD Rod Plummer. “With over 50% of the UK population now having a Facebook account, and the other 50% probably knowing someone who has one, it seemed logical to us that the delivery of Flood warnings through the site is a simple but effective way to help get the warnings to people who need them fast, accurately and through a medium they are already using.”