Living in a flood risk area?
Flooding in Suffolk can come from several sources, the main type of flooding we experience is coastal flooding, usually associated with a storm surge (see storm surge explanation from the Met Office), other flooding can be caused by surface water or less likely in Suffolk, fluvial (river) flooding.
Coastal, surface water and fluvial flooding are assessed as a MEDIUM risk in Suffolk on the Community Risk Register. The National Risk Assessment for East Coast Flooding still shows the risk to be Very High but after the recent tidal flooding events of 2007 and 2013, the Suffolk Resilience Forum partners have reduced the risk in Suffolk to reflect the actual flooding experienced.
The Suffolk Resilience Forum Flood plan gives more information about the nature of flooding and the risk.
The lead agency for flooding is the Environment Agency and they run a Flood Information Service (external website) to advise you on when you can expect flooding.
They also have web based information to help you check whether your home is located in a flood risk area, how to prepare for flooding, getting insurance if you are in a flood area and what to do after a flood.
Another useful source of information is given on the National Flood Forum (external website).
Public Health England has produced guidance on how to clean up homes safely if they have been flooded.
The Suffolk Flood Risk Management Partnership have produced a leaflet detailing 'What to do before, doing and after a flood' (external website).
Report a flood incident
The Suffolk County Council Floods Team (external website) will investigate incidents of flooding, use the website or telephone on 08456 066 067 to report flooding.
Use of sandbags during flooding
In Suffolk, the Local Authorities have taken expert advice and agreed not to provide sandbags to protect individual properties:
- They will not protect an individual property against flooding, water can get into a house through doorways, utility access points and through sewerage systems and sandbags can make the situation worse trapping water inside.
- They can become contaminated with sewage and need specialist disposal after use.
- Sandbags are really only helpful to divert surface water on roads or from ditches – houses or businesses need proper flood defences fitting.
- Response agencies use the limited sandbags resources available in an emergency by deploying them in bulk to raise/repair existing flood defences or to divert water away from groups of properties.