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Spotlight on Coastal Floods

If there is one thing the UK is known for it is our ever so soggy climate. Now, the constant downpours we experience are the butt of many a British joke, but behind the humour is a serious matter that people need to be aware of and prepared for.

Of course, we are no strangers to having a cold, wet winter followed by torrential downpours all summer long. In fact, we get a little confused - if not nervous - should we go without rain for too long. That said, the ever-damp conditions in the British Isles are cause for concern when it comes to flooding.

Though the UK is quiet on the natural disaster front, it is not without its fair share of weather-related challenges. Even after a swelteringly hot Summer 2014, parts of the UK cannot say they escaped without flood damage to homes and businesses. What is worse is that this is not a one-season phenomenon.

The UK has no "wet" or "storm" season, which means certain areas are at risk of flooding all year round. Sometimes these floods are unexpected, as in the case of flash floods. Other times, they are simply unavoidable, as with intimidating coastal floods.

Coastal areas suffer the brunt of the heavy storms which brew out at sea and thrash the UK's shoreline. This happens annually and in varying degrees of severity. Though it cannot be avoided, it can be prepared for to the point that it limits the damage done to homes and businesses.

To prepare yourself and learn more about these dangerous coastal floods, read on.

Five Facts About Coastal Floods:

  • Coastal flooding is more common in certain UK coastal regions than in others. It is unpredictable and, for the most part, unavoidable. Sometimes coastal flooding can be incredibly localised, affecting only a few small areas. Other times, however, it can cause serious and widespread damage, leading to a loss of homes, businesses and even lives.
  • Associated with hurricanes, tsunamis and tropical storms, this type of flooding is caused primarily by storm surges and wave damaged defences. In fact, strong winds are often seen as a precursor to the storm itself with coastal flooding considered as the main event people dread in association with storms.
  • Over deep water, a low-pressure storm will push down on the sea below and raise its level. As the eye of the storm then moves towards land it continues to push down on shallower and shallower water. When it hits the shoreline, the body of displaced water can flood the coast and cause substantial damage. This is only compounded by the swathe of violent storm-generated waves that batter beaches, coastal towns and seaside flood defences during such conditions.
  • On top of the danger posed and the damage caused by the flooding itself, the waves responsible also wash away sandy coasts, exacerbating erosion issues and in some cases causing dunes to collapse altogether.
  • Due to the nature of a coastal flood, its water level will rise and fall in accordance with the tide. So there may be a sudden rise in the level of floodwater, but it may recede significantly during low tide. This is when emergency repair work will be done on coastal flood defences, as a means of preventing further flooding come high tide.


These five facts are just a basic look at coastal flooding, but it is good to arm yourself with knowledge. If you live in an at risk coastal region then do your research, invest in insurance and make sure you are as prepared as possible for the worst case scenario.

As ever, if the worst comes to the worst and you need a flood restoration company to help you get back on your feet, RelkoGroup is only a call away.