You are here :

Flooding

Flood protection

Home-owners and businesses are responsible for protecting their properties from flooding.

Households that rely upon sandbags to protect their property should purchase them in advance from local DIY stores, building merchants or online retailers. Please note that sandbags must be placed properly in order to provide suitable protection.

Sandbags are also relatively ineffective when compared to other flood protection measures. The National Flood Forum's Blue Pages directory lists a variety of products that may be more suitable for your property.

If your property has flooded before, we would strongly recommend that you consider purchasing some form of flood protection.

Requesting sandbags

If your home is at risk of flooding and you are unable to acquire your own sandbags, we may be able to help. Please contact us on the numbers below‎ for assistance.

Tel: 0115 981 9911 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
Tel: 0115 981 1143 (outside usual opening times, for emergencies only)

Please note that local authorities will not be able to respond to all sandbag requests if flooding is widespread. In such instances, priority will be given to residents that are most at risk and unable to help themselves. 

It is unlikely that sandbags will be provided to businesses as we must prioritise support to those most vulnerable during a flood. Nor will sandbags be provided for protecting gardens or outbuildings (e.g. sheds, garages).

Disposing of sandbags

Wherever possible, sandbags that have not come into contact with floodwater should be stored in a dry place to use again in the near-future. Please note that sandbags will disintegrate with exposure to the weather so they are not recommended for use after long periods.

Once sandbags are no longer usable, please dispose of the sand by mixing it with the soil in your garden and place the empty bag in your grey bin. Empty sandbags can also be taken to your local recycling centre. Please do not place full sandbags or the sand in your household waste.

Please ensure that children do not play with sand, or any other material, that has been in contact with floodwater. Ensure you wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling.

Hazards

Floodwater is often contaminated and care should be taken when handling any material that has been in contact with it. Members of the public are also reminded not to enter floodwater as hidden hazards, such as lifted manhole covers, may lie beneath the surface.

Motorists are warned to think before they drive through floodwater, not only because of the risk of getting stuck but also because they could inadvertently cause flooding to nearby properties. Advice on driving in poor conditions is available on the AA's website.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (before a flood)

Information on preparing for a flood is also available from the Environment Agency.

1. How do I find out if my property is at risk of flooding?

The flood maps on the Environment Agency's website can be used to ascertain how vulnerable your property is to different types of flooding.

2. Where can I find the latest weather / flooding forecast?

Residents at risk of fluvial flooding can sign-up to warnings from the Environment Agency’s Floodline service. The Environment Agency also publishes information on river levels i

Weather forecasts are available from the Met Office.

3. Who is responsible for managing flood risk?

The Environment Agency is responsible for managing main rivers, such as the River Trent and the River Soar.

Nottinghamshire County Council is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and has powers and duties for managing flooding from local sources. The County Council works with the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) and other local authorities to manage flood risk.

Riparian owners are normally responsible for maintaining the stretch of watercourse that is on their land. The Environment Agency has published a guide on the responsibilities of riparian owners.

4. What types of flood protection are available?

Sandbags are relatively ineffective when compared to purpose-designed flood protection measures. There are a number of alternative products available, many of which can be stored safely and hygienically inside your property until they need to be used.

The National Flood Forum’s Blue Pages directory lists a variety of products that might be suitable.  Before purchasing a particular product ensure it has a Kitemark symbol or equivalent accreditation so you are assured  it has been tested properly.

5. Where can I get advice on insurance?

Property-owners should have adequate building and contents insurance in place. The National Flood Forum provides independent advice on how to obtain insurance for properties at risk of flooding; this also includes guidance on reducing your premium or excess. Further information on insurance is available from the Environment Agency.

If you live in accommodation provided by a housing association, it is usually the case that your building insurance is provided but you will still need to obtain contents insurance. Please check with your housing association if you are unsure as to what type of insurance is required.

6. What other actions can I take to prepare myself?

Advice on developing a personal flood plan is available from the Environment Agency. Guidance on preparing for emergencies is also available from Nottinghamshire County Council.

Parish / town councils and neighbourhood groups may wish to develop a community emergency plan.

7. What other information is available?

The National Flood Forum National Flood Forum provides support to individuals and local community groups wishing to lessen the impact of flooding on their communities.

The ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ website describes the various types of flooding that can occur and offers guidance on how to protect your property.

The Flood Protection Association is the industry association for flood protection suppliers.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (during a flood)

Information on responding to a flood is also available from the Environment Agency.

1.  I’m in danger, or my neighbour is in danger.

Ring the emergency services (999) and tune into local television and radio for updates. Do not take any chances with your own safety, or the safety of others.

If you are able to, please remember to check on the welfare of your neighbours.

2. What hazards should I be aware of?

Members of the public are reminded not to enter floodwater as hidden hazards, such as lifted manhole covers, may lie beneath the surface.

Motorists are warned to think before they drive through floodwater, not only because of the risk of getting stuck but also because they could inadvertently cause flooding to nearby properties. Advice on driving in poor conditions is available on the AA’s website.

Floodwater is often contaminated and care should be taken when handling any material that has been in contact with it. Information on the health implications of flooding is available from Public Health England .

3. Where can I obtain sandbags?

Home-owners and businesses are responsible for protecting their properties from flooding. Households that rely upon sandbags to protect their property should purchase them from local DIY stores or building merchants. Please note that sandbags must be placed properly in order to provide suitable protection.

If your home is at risk of flooding and you are unable to acquire your own sandbags, we may be able to help. Please contact the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre for assistance.

Please note that local authorities will not be able to respond to all sandbag requests if flooding is widespread. In such instances Rushcliffe Borough Council will give priority to residents that are most at risk and unable to help themselves.

It is unlikely that sandbags will be provided to businesses as we must prioritise support to those most vulnerable during a flood. Nor will sandbags be provided for protecting gardens or outbuildings (e.g. sheds, garages).

4. Who should I notify about flooding on the road network?

Nottinghamshire County Council is responsible for the highway network. If a road frequently floods, or has very large amounts of standing water on it, please report this online or contact Nottinghamshire County Council’s customer service centre.

5. Who should I notify about sewer flooding?

If you think the flooding in your area contains foul water from a sewer, please contact Severn Trent Water.

6. How do I find out about disruption to the road network and other public services?

Nottinghamshire County Council’s website provides information about disruption to services, including road closures and school closures. ‘Nottingham Travelwise’ publicises traffic disruption via Twitter.

Please also listen to your local radio station for the latest traffic updates.

7. What happens if properties are evacuated?

If flooding is severe, the emergency services may recommend that residents evacuate their property. Evacuees will be directed to a place of safety where an initial assessment of their needs will be made.

Depending on the scale, duration and nature of the evacuation, residents may be temporarily re-housed in hotels, bed & breakfasts, hostels, residential homes or other temporary accommodation according to their needs. Many evacuees prefer to stay with family or friends as this often provides the most comfortable and supportive environment.

In the event of a large-scale evacuation, local authorities may open a rest centre. This is a facility, such as a leisure centre, where the immediate welfare needs of evacuees can be met.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (after a flood)

Information on recovering from a flood is also available from the Environment Agency.

1. My property has flooded. What should I do?

Please contact your insurance company immediately. If you live in accommodation provided by a housing association, please also contact your provider for support.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced a guide on what to expect from your insurance company 

When speaking to your insurer, you may want to consider the following:

  • Ask when a loss adjuster will visit (they will identify what repairs and replacements are needed and if they are covered by your policy)
  • Ask if they will help pay for repairs that will better prepare your property and reduce future costs if flooding happens again
  • Ask if you should clean your property
  • Confirm that they will pay for any services or equipment you need
  • Keep copies of all records and correspondence (e.g. receipts, letters, emails) you send and receive
  • Make a note of all telephone calls to your insurance company (including the date, name of the person you spoke to and what was agreed)
  • Mark the height of floodwater on the walls of affected rooms
  • Take photographs or record footage of the damage
  • List the damage caused to your property and belongings.

If your policy covers lost perishable goods, list the foods touched by floodwater and those in your fridge and freezer ruined by loss of power and throw them away. Don’t throw away anything else until told.

Nottinghamshire County Council will carry out investigations into the cause of flooding where there have been significant numbers of internal property flooding. Please send any photos, videos or views on what caused the flooding in your area to the flood risk management team.

2. Where can I obtain a pump to remove floodwater?

Floodwater can be removed from your property by using a pump and generator.

Rushcliffe Borough Council is unable to provide pumps for removing floodwater but a variety of products are available to purchase or rent through DIY shops and other retailers. If your property has already flooded your insurance company may also be able to help.

Pumps can be electric or petrol / diesel. Electric pumps may be the most convenient option but you will need to take care when using one near floodwater. Please contact a qualified electrician if you need further advice.

Petrol and diesel pumps can be noisy and will require refuelling. Generators should be positioned outside as they produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.

Pumping from one place to another may cause flooding elsewhere. When deciding where to pump water, please contact:

  • The Environment Agency about pumping water into main rivers or boreholes
  • Nottinghamshire County Council about pumping water into a ditch, watercourse or highway drain
  • Severn Trent Water about pumping water into public surface water sewers.

You must not pump water into the public foul sewer. These systems are not generally large enough to accommodate surface water flows so this can result in sewer flooding.

Only pump water when flood levels outside your property are lower than inside to reduce the risk of structural damage. Please consult a structural engineer before pumping very deep water from basements.

3. Flooding has caused structural damage to my property. Who should I contact?

If you own your property and have building insurance, your insurance company may appoint a surveyor to assess any damage.

If you live in accommodation provided by a housing association, please contact your relevant provider for support.

If you have any concerns about the structural safety of your property, please seek advice from Rushcliffe Borough Council’s building control team

4. The road outside my property needs cleaning. Who should I contact?

Rushcliffe Borough Council will clear pavements and roads as soon as possible once floodwater has subsided. There can be a high demand for this service following widespread flooding so it might take some time before your road is reached.

If you would like to check that your road will be cleaned, please contact the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre.

5. I would like to report a blocked road drain. Who should I contact?

Blocked road drains can be reported online or via Nottinghamshire County Council’s customer service centre.

6. Who is responsible for clearing debris from a watercourse after a flood?

The Environment Agency is responsible for maintaining main rivers, such as the River Trent and River Soar.

It is usually the responsibility of riparian owners to clear debris from their watercourse. If the debris is very large, you may need to hire a contractor to remove this on your behalf. The Environment Agency has published a guide on the responsibilities of riparian owners.

If you need further guidance on the ownership of watercourses, please contact Nottinghamshire County Council’s flood risk management team.

7. Will sandbags be collected after a flood?

Wherever possible, sandbags that have not come into contact with floodwater should be stored in a dry place to use again in the near-future. Please note that sandbags will disintegrate with exposure to the weather so they are not recommended for use after long periods.

Once sandbags are no longer usable, please dispose of the sand by mixing it with the soil in your garden and place the empty bag in your grey bin. Empty sandbags can also be taken to your local recycling centre. Please do not place full sandbags or the sand in your household waste. 

Please ensure that children do not play with sand, or any other material, that has been in contact with floodwater. Ensure you wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling.

8. Where can I dispose of my waste?

Information on recycling centres is available online or via Nottinghamshire County Council’s customer service centre.

9. How can I dispose of large items?

Insurance companies should provide skips to dispose of any waste. Please speak to your insurer and loss adjustor before removing any items as they may wish to visit your property or ask you to take photographs of the damage prior to disposal.

Rushcliffe Borough Council can also dispose of some large items on your behalf although please note there is a charge for this service. Requests can be made by completing the online form or contacting the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre.

Remember to keep a record of any costs incurred when disposing of large items. You might be able to re-claim these expenses from your insurer.

10. My property has flooded. Are electrical appliances safe to use?

Do not switch on electrical appliances that that have been in contact with floodwater unless a competent electrician has inspected them and approved their use.

11. My property has flooded. Are gas appliances safe to use?

Even if gas appliances appear to be working normally, the flue or ventilation systems may have been affected. For safety reasons, please have your appliances inspected by a Gas Safe Register engineer.

12. My property has flooded. Is my water safe to drink?

Water companies strive to ensure that customers are provided with the highest quality drinking water. If they become aware of any reason to suspect that your water is not safe to drink they will contact you and issue advice about alternative steps to take.

If you think there is a problem with the quality of your water supply, please contact Severn Trent Water.

13. I own a food business that has been flooded. Who should I notify?

If your food business has been affected by flooding, please contact Rushcliffe Borough Council’s environmental health team for advice.

14. What public health issues should I be aware of?

Usually any harmful bugs in floodwater become very diluted and present a low risk, but there are a few precautions to be aware of that should prevent unnecessary health problems. Wherever possible, try to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater. If this is not possible, wear waterproof gloves and rubber boots. Remember to cover any existing cuts or scratches with waterproof plasters.

If you, or someone you know, feels unwell from vomiting, diarrhoea or skin irritations, or if you have any other health concerns, please contact your GP and inform them you have been in contact with floodwater.

Further advice is available from Public Health England. Information on food safety is available from the Food Standards Agency.

15. My property is uninhabitable. Can I receive a council tax discount?

You may be able to receive a council tax discount if your property is uninhabitable. To qualify, the property must be unoccupied and unfurnished whilst remedial work is undertaken to make it habitable again. Evidence of the work being carried out and details of your temporary accommodation will need to be submitted in support of your request.

Please contact the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre for more information.

 



Rate this page

How do you rate this information / service?
This page is okay
This page needs improving