Flooding has significantly affected Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the most recent incident being the floods in February 2014, when the River Severn topped its 2007 high as both counties suffered a prolonged period of high rainfall and flooding affecting our rivers and road networks.
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service provide rescue and relief during times of flooding including the rescue of occupants in homes/vehicles stranded in flood water.
The Service has three swift water rescue teams, one based at Worcester, one based at Evesham and one at Hereford. The Service also has a flood rescue capability based at Droitwich, which also hosts Urban Search and Rescue. The teams are complimented by inflatable boats and a range of equipment suitable for rescuing people from mud, fast moving and still water.
In an emergency- Call 999 if you are in danger or people have been injured. Also to consider during flooding:
- Check in on vulnerable neighbours
- Move people and pets upstairs or to a higher place with means of escape
- Follow the advice of emergency services if they tell you to evacuate – they will take you to a centre run by the local council and give you food and bedding
- If your home does begin to flood, turn off your electricity supply, and do not touch any sources of electricity such as switches or appliances when you are standing in flood water.
- Don’t try to drive through standing water - road users should not drive through floodwater as the risk can be significant.
- For information on how to locate sandbags within your area, please follow this link: sandbags information.
- Remain calm
The Environment Agency’s warning service has three types of warnings that will help you prepare for flooding and take action. They are:
Severe Flood Warning
Severe flooding. Danger to life.
Flooding is expected. Immediate action required
Flooding is possible. Be prepared.
Call Floodline on 0345 9881188 as well as 08459881188 to listen to recorded flood warning information for your area or speak to an operator for advice 24 hours a day.
Follow this link to sign up for free flood warnings from Floodline Warnings Direct and sign up to flood alerts on Facebook.
Roads during flooding
During a period of flooding, the road networks across Herefordshire and Worcestershire may be affected and the situation can change rapidly. Therefore motorists are urged to check for road closures by either tuning in to local radio, visiting BBC Hereford & Worcester travel news, Worcestershire County Council road closures, Herefordshire Council road closures. Road users should not drive through floodwater as the risk can be significant.
Warning about using water pumps during flooding
Business and home owners affected by flooding are urged not to use petrol or diesel water pumps in confined spaces as they can pose a significant safety risk and as has happened in the past, can lead to a loss of life. Petrol or diesel fuelled generators used to power water pumps or other flood recovery devices such as dehumidifiers or fans, which can be used following flooding will give off a variety of toxic gases including carbon monoxide fumes. These fumes can overcome people in the building or near vicinity if used in an enclosed space (e.g. a lounge). Pumps and other machinery powered by petrol or diesel are designed for outdoor use. This is because they also emit hazardous carbon monoxide fumes. We would urge people not to use them inside buildings or in areas without adequate ventilation.
Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure:
- The signs or symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure copy many common illnesses and can easily be confused with flu or simple tiredness.
- At low levels, carbon monoxide exposure may cause poor concentration, memory and vision problems, and loss of muscle coordination and can have an accumulative effect poisoning the individual over a period of hours or even days.
- At higher levels, it may cause headaches, fatigue, vomiting and nausea. At very high levels, the symptoms intensify and it can prove fatal within a matter of hours.
As a precaution, the Service recommends the use of battery powered carbon monoxide detectors which look similar to smoke detectors and can be easily purchased and fitted by anyone.
If you would like further advice, please contact the Community Safety helpline on 0800 032 1155.
Useful website links