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Spotlight on Flash Floods

The UK is famous for its damp climate which has become a long-running joke in British humour. Yes, we are no strangers to it raining all winter long, only to pour down all through the summer.

Behind the humour though is a serious situation that the country has to face, year after year: flooding. 

Flooding is the principal natural disaster that occurs in the UK, and it is both a widespread and year-round problem. Unlike other parts of the world, the UK doesn't have a "wet" or "storm" season. In fact, the majority of floods occur when we least expect.

For example, Summer 2014 has been a hot and humid season, but in amongst the soaring temperatures and the groans over un-British temperatures, people have suffered from washout weekends and unexpected floods. Homes and businesses alike have been caught off-guard and left to deal with the emotionally and financially painful aftermath of flooding.

Flash floods in particular have been common, affecting regions all over the UK, from the North and the East to the flood-prone Southwest. It seems that flooding is not choosy, but nor is it a new hazard. Yet time and time again, people are taken by surprise. Why?

Well, it is not necessarily down to unpreparedness or lack of awareness. You see, the very nature of flash floods makes them unpredictable, unexpected and indiscriminate. This can cause havoc for residents and business owners up and down the country, especially as many people don't experience flash flooding on a regular basis and don't understand how such an event comes about.

To prepare yourself for the worst case scenario as our washout summer moves into what is set to be a soggy autumn, read on and learn more about flash floods.

Five Facts About Flash Floods:

  • Unlike when flood water builds up over time and people have some form of advance warning (and a chance to prepare, prevent or evacuate), flash floods happen too quickly for anyone to do much in the way of prep and avoidance.
  • Flash floods have certain characteristics that make them especially dangerous. Their water is incredibly fast-moving and fast-rising. Flash flood water often moves at a rate of around nine feet per second; enough to move 100lbs rocks and dangerously heavy debris
  • Flash floods are more common in areas with hilly terrain; steep slopes encourage water to flow faster so a normally trickling river will turn into a strong, fast-flowing and rapidly growing downhill torrent after heavy rainfall. This body of fast-moving water will gather rocks and debris on its way downhill.
  • The area affected by a flash flood can be much smaller than the area affected by other kinds of flooding. However, the concentration of water in a small area can have disastrous results for those affected.
  • Flash floods are aptly named because everything about them is fast. They occur quickly as a result of sudden heavy downpours or substantial snow melting. They are defined by their rapid flow and rapid rise of water and they end as abruptly as they start.

These are just five quick fire facts to get you started with your understanding of the floods that threaten the UK. If you are in an at risk area then it is always wise to do some research to see what it is you should look out for. You may also find prevention methods, as well as extra peace of mind with things like flood specific insurance and guidance.

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.