News Flash Floods – A Drainage Emergency


June 2016 has proven to be a month of exceptional rainfall so far – we may only be part way through the month, but already, thousands of people across the UK have been affected by flooding.
Late spring saw periods of very hot, dry conditions – meaning that the ground became ‘baked’ with poor water absorbency and therefore when heavy rains fell, rather than sinking into the ground, it ran over the top, swelling streams and rivers, causing very sudden flash flooding.

Many parts of the UK have been affected by flash floods, and even as we write, flood alerts remain in place across several regions. Here at Metro Rod Head Office, one of our local towns, Stockport and the surrounding towns and villages such as Bramhall, Disley and Hazel Grove, have seen unprecedented levels of rainfall and severe flash flooding which has closed roads and railways.

Due to the unpredictable nature of flash floods, it is difficult to pinpoint which areas might be affected by flooding. Of course, areas with natural watercourses such as rivers and streams will be under pressure to carry away excessive water and may not cope when rain runoff creates flooding which feeds into these water courses. Man-made drainage can help, but these drains can also struggle to cope when flood water pushes debris into the drains, causing blockages.


What to do in a flash flood


Follow flood alerts – If heavy rain is forecast in your area, you should regularly check the Environment Agency’s website ( ) to see if there are flood warnings in place. You can also create alerts on the Met Office website which will provide information on severe weather or flooding.

Create a flood kit – this should contain essential kit and items, such as a torch, warm clothing and blankets, a first-aid kit (including any important prescribed medication), bottled water and non-perishable food. It is also advisable to put your insurance documents into this kit.

Take extra care! Don’t underestimate the danger of flood water. Just six inches of fast flowing water is enough to knock an adult off their feet and two feet of water has the power to move a car! DO NOT enter flood water unless it is an emergency and absolutely essential for you to do so. If you become stranded by flood water, do not attempt to wade through it. Contact the emergency services and await rescue and evacuation.

Find a high place – if you are caught outside when a flash flood threatens, find the highest possible ground and if you are at home, move essential items (including your flood kit) either upstairs or on top of high furniture.

Turn off gas, electric and water supplies – if your home or business is threatened with flooding, turn off the supplies, just before it enters. DO NOT touch electrical items when standing in flood water.

The aftermath of a flash flood can be devastating for homes and businesses. Only enter your property when the emergency services have confirmed that it is safe to do so. Be extra careful if there is still water standing as it can hide dangers such as structural damage, debris and contaminated waste. Take photos of the damage, most smartphones have a camera function good enough to take these photos – and contact your buildings and contents insurance company.

If you have been affected by flash flooding and need help in clearing the area, Metro Rod can help. We have over 40 service centres, providing drainage and waste management expertise across the UK. Call us today on 0808 208 4670 and we can put you in touch with your local Metro Rod centre.

Metro Rod are expert drainage specialists with many years’ experience of helping both domestic customers and businesses to clean up after a flash flood has caused devastation. Our fleet of tankers can help to pump away areas of standing water and our engineers can complete a thorough clean-up of the surrounding areas to ensure that they are safe again. This includes jet washing to get rid of debris and also carrying out drain surveys to ensure that they are debris free and ready to cope the next time heavy rainfall threatens the area.