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Flooding incidents and sandbags

Birmingham City Council has a role in responding to and investigating flooding incidents, however other groups and individuals also have a part to play.

Management of flooding events

When flooding occurs, or is threatened, people often look to the local authority to take responsibility and take steps to prevent or reduce flooding. However, local authorities don’t have a statutory duty to prevent properties from flooding.

The City Council as Lead Local Flood Authority has a duty to investigate flooding. Not all flooding will require a formal investigation and report, therefore a three stage investigation process has been developed, this is outlined in the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Following the floods of June 2016, Birmingham City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water, has undertaken an investigation of 23 areas where internal property flooding was reported. This investigation is outlined in the June 2016 Flooding: Section 19 Investigation report.

Provision of sandbags

In the event of widespread flooding there are insufficient resources available to despatch sandbags to individual properties that request them.

The City Council will provide sandbags in bulk deliveries to approved and informed stakeholder groups such as Flood Action Groups at specified locations in order that they may form part of a community flood action plan. The community group will take charge of the distribution in accordance with their local plan.

The City Council will not generally deliver sandbags to individual properties instead using available resources to attend strategic infrastructure and to deliver bulk sandbag drops to community Flood Action Groups.

Role of flood action groups

One of the best ways a neighbourhood can prepare for flooding is to set up a Flood Action Group.  These are community groups, led by volunteers that help residents in the flood watch area prepare and cope with incidents of flooding. 

If you’re interested in forming a Flood Action Group, you can contact Resilience and Flood Risk Management Team for support and advice by emailing llfa@birmingham.gov.uk.

Flooding advice for individual property owners

Further information on flood warning and practical advice on what you can do to prepare for flooding, during flooding and after flooding is available on the Birmingham Resilience website.