Weather update: heavy rain forecast
A number of areas across the city experienced flash flooding over the bank holiday as a result of extreme weather conditions, with some areas receiving a month’s rainfall in the space of an hour.
Further heavy and thundery showers are expected on Thursday afternoon (31 May) and the Met Office has issued a ‘yellow warning’ for rain covering much of the lower half of the UK, including Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.
While the Met Office advises that these heavy showers will be ‘hit and miss’, meaning it is impossible to predict exactly where rain will fall, areas that are affected are likely to see torrential downpours of up to 30mm of rain in the hour, which could lead to flash flooding affecting homes, businesses and roads.
As a council, we are prepared for this possibility and we are already working with Flood Action Groups in the most high risk wards to ensure that appropriate measures are in place, while officers are actively liaising with residents on multiple sites which were affected by flooding.
Our officers have also been busy checking and clearing grills and highway culverts to ensure water flow is not impeded in the event of heavy rainfall. We have also been working with the Environment Agency to clear any major blockages to rivers and watercourses, while additional gully cleansing has also been taking place.
We have prepared the following advice. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbours.
You can prepare for potential flooding by moving valuable and electrical items upstairs or to a higher place (if possible) and ensuring you have any essential items you will need, such as medication, glasses, hearing aid batteries, insurance documents, bank cards and money, somewhere safe. Turn off your gas, electricity and water before flood water enters your home (contact your supplier if you are unsure how to do this).
If you have been flooded, contact your insurance company and follow their advice, particularly before disposing of damaged items. If you haven’t got insurance the National Flood Forum can offer help and support. Call them on 01299 403055 or visit them at www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk. Call 999 if there is a threat to life.
If you live in a council property then please call 08000 733 333.
If it becomes necessary to evacuate your property then please follow any official advice you are given.
Street drains and grates are checked periodically and cleaned where necessary. In areas deemed to be at high risk of flooding, additional checks are made whenever a weather warning is issued. However, if we experience similar levels of rainfall to those seen during the bank holiday then flooding can still be expected due to the sheer volume of water passing through the drains in such a short space of time. Flood water will subside and drain away once the rain stops.
In flooding occurs, people should follow advice given by the emergency services and avoid road travel where possible. Motorists should observe ‘road closed’ signs and not attempt to drive through flood water, however shallow it appears. There is likely to be debris on the roads and hidden beneath flood water, including raised ironwork from blown manhole covers.
As always, we will be working closely with our partners at Amey and Severn Trent to carry out any road and sewer repairs where necessary and ensure that any roads affected by flooding are reopened as quickly as possible.
Flood-damaged household items such as carpets and sofas which would affect your living environment if kept in the house will be collected when we’re notified, volume permitting, if placed on the pavement outside your property. We can only collect items with the householder’s permission on the day and you will need to check with your insurers first before disposing of anything as this may affect any insurance claims.
Please note that this is NOT a bulky waste collection – it is an additional service offered to support flood-stricken households during the flood recovery period only. If you wish to dispose of items which are not flood-damaged then please arrange for a bulky waste collection as normal.
Other useful contacts
Careline support services for older people and the vulnerable can be contacted on 0121 303 3826.
People can report flooding in their area to the council directly by emailing LLFA@birmingham.gov.uk. Photographs can also be attached.
Updates, advice and information are available via Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
Severn Trent’s public emergency number is 0800 389 1011.
The Environment Agency’s emergency line is 0800 807060.
Please also read this Flood Recovery Guide prepared by the Know Your Flood Risk campaign.
Further information and guidance can also be found on our flooding advice web pages.