As flash flooding by its very nature happens extremely quickly, the Environment Agency have developed and are piloting a 'Flash Flood Alert' service based on the rainfall radar. An alert of extreme rainfall that could lead to flash flooding can provide precious time to activate community flood plans to minimise the impact of flooding.
The purpose of this pilot is to test the use of rainfall radar to provide an alert when extreme rainfall is forecast to hit one of the communities listed above and prompt the community flood volunteers to activate their community flood plan.
The Environment Agency, will monitor radar rainfall 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year
If the rainfall radar shows that extreme rainfall of an intensity and duration, that could lead to flash flooding is forecast to affect Cheddar, the Environment Agency will issue a 'Flash Flood Alert' to the Flood Wardens/Volunteers in Cheddar.
The service is not available publicly, so will not be accessible or visible via their website
The message will state:
'A Flash Flood Alert has been issued for the Cheddar area. Flood Wardens should immediately refer to the Cheddar Community Flood Plan.'
The alert could be triggered at any time, day or night and will indicate the estimated time of the start of the extreme rain and where possible, its duration.
On receipt of the alert you need to:
Consider activating your internal procedures for dealing with flash flood events.
You may want to start observations, watch out for:
People particularly at risk are:
To report flooding, or blockages that may increase flood risk, please phone our incident hotline on 0800 807060 and ask to speak to your local Flood Warning Duty Officer for the Cheddar area.
This pilot service will only be used when extreme rain likely to lead to flash flooding is forecast. It has been developed following rainfall analysis of previous flash flood events in the UK. As such it cannot alert for flooding that occurs as a result of less intense rainfall that may occur over a longer period of time, or for very short duration torrential rainfall (less than 15 minutes).
For further information on the development of this service please refer to the British Hydrological Society
As this is a pilot service, If you live or work in Cheddar, we would really welcome your feedback on its performance. Please either e-mail any questions or feedback you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our general enquiries number on 03708 506 506 and ask to speak to the local Flood Warning Duty Officer, for Cheddar.