Occasionally in our beautiful waterside village, heavy and prolonged rainfall results in instances of surface water flooding or flash flooding. Flash flooding is the hardest type of flooding to predict. It tends to happen when heavy rainfall runs off land and quickly swells rivers and streams or, in more urban areas, when water builds up quickly because rainfall is unable to drain away (fluvial flooding is river flooding and this occurs when a river’s flood plain fills as the river’s capacity is exceeded). Flooding can be dangerous – it only takes 15cms of fast-flowing water to knock an adult off their feet and 60cms of water to sweep away a 4×4 car or small lorry – so don’t walk or drive through flood water and never underestimate the danger of a flash flood.
The Environment Agency is responsible for issuing flood warnings to the public. For recorded flood warning information, or to speak to an operator for advice, call the 24-hour Floodline on 0345 988 1188. To find out whether your home is in a flood risk area (coastal or fluvial) or to check for flood warnings online, visit www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk. Flooding on a road or footpath (or blocked drains which may result in surface water flooding) may be reported to Norfolk County Council, though residents are advised to ring 999 if there is any risk of danger to people or property from floodwater.
It is reassuring to know that Hoveton has its own volunteer Flood Warden, Gary Foreman (07735 203654), who monitors our local river levels during heavy rainfall. Residents are welcome to share information about possible river flooding hotspots or about any areas where water collects and takes time to disappear after a heavy rainstorm with Gary or with Hoveton Parish Council (please contact Cllr Alex Howe on [email protected] or 01603 783 096), so the appropriate services can be informed.
Property owners are responsible for taking the appropriate action to protect their property from flooding. For anyone considering the use of sandbags for flood protection purposes, the Environment Agency advises that unfilled sandbags and a supply of sand can be purchased from most DIY stores or builders’ merchants, though in an emergency situation, alternatives such as pillowcases or refuse sacks filled with garden soil might be an option (more information about sandbags). Meanwhile, North Norfolk District Council has produced its own essential flood guide, containing guidance and local information.