Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Environment Agency warns of risk of flooding despite continued drought

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.

World’s first

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.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • This sounds a little confused. Yes the state of the ground in the SE could mean that flash floods can still occur because the water runs off compacted soil but it also does off waterlogged soil. Also coastal flooding is unlikely to occur except during extreme astronomical tides.

    The club I used to sail at suffered, and still suffers, inundation of the boat store under the clubhouse a few times a year. There was a mark on the doors showing the level attained in 1953. I have seen the level within 6" of that mark. On consulting the tide tables I realised that if those storm conditions had occured 2 days later the mark would have been exceeded by 6" as it would have coincided with an exceptional astronomical tide.

    However I agree that flood warnings are important to people who live in areas which are liable to flooding. There are many routine precautions that they need to take, some as simple as NOT leaving a car on the wrong part of the road.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.