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Council leaders issue flash flood warning

Flash floods could hit communities this week, wreaking havoc among homes and businesses, council leaders have warned.

With heavy and thundery showers forecast for today, the LGA has advised that home and business owners need to be prepared.

Flash flooding can lead to an inch of rain falling in just 15 minutes. It only takes 15cm of fast-flowing water to knock an adult over and 60cm to sweep away a 4x4 car or small lorry, and flash floods are increasing because of global warming, the LGA noted.

Flash floods in Cheshire and Greater Manchester last weekend led to people being forced to leave their homes in Poynton and a landslide on the train line between Stockport and Disley.

Cllr Peter Box, the LGA’s spokesperson for the environment, said: “Flash floods can bring devastation to communities within a matter of minutes, causing enormous disruption to families and businesses.”

The LGA advised people to regularly check weather forecasts, ensure they know how to turn off gas, electricity and water, have a contingency plan for moving essential items upstairs quickly, and avoid travelling by foot or car during flash floods.

In the latest edition of PSE, Phil Sayers, senior fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford, explored the steps to build a flood resilient society, while Dr Andy Johnson of the Local Government Information Unit reflected on what policymakers can do to prioritise flood recovery.

A recent report from Communities and Local Government Committee said the government should develop a detailed framework for building houses on high-risk flooding areas by the end of the year.

(Image c. Owen Humphreys from PA Images)

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