Flood Ark

15,000 Homes Flooded and Many Residents Still Not Home!

07/10/2016 Canoeist paddling past flooded pub in York

A new survey has suggested that more than 15,000 properties across eight local authorities were flooded during last December’s storms. The findings were published by the Local Government Association in a report which found that many of those authorities are still helping flood victims to get back into their homes.

Those eight council areas affected were:

  • Cumbria: 6,568 homes and 897 businesses 
  • Calderdale: 2,135 homes and 945 businesses 
  • Lancashire: 2,090 homes and 533 businesses 
  • North Yorkshire: 404 homes and 95 businesses 
  • York: 350 homes and 157 businesses 
  • Leeds: 298 homes and 375 businesses 
  • Northumberland: 197 homes and 90 businesses 
  • Kirklees: 37 homes and 65 businesses 

As we discussed in last week’s blog, the Flood Resilience Review which followed the floods recently outlined that £12.5 million of investment would be invested in temporary flood defences, including barriers and water pumps. In that blog we expressed our disappointment again that sustainable drainage systems (SuDs) was not made compulsory in the 2015 Planning Bill, despite evidence which shows that a greater number of flood incidents are caused by surface water flooding than coastal or river flooding. 

Having read the research from the Local Government Association, we are once again surprised they are not identifying SuDS as a contributing factor. It has called for control of flood defence funds to be devolved, with the government encouraged to introduce anti-flood measures into building regulations. The measures they suggest include raised electrical sockets and wiring, ventilation brick covers, sealed floors and raised damp courses – but again, not SUDs. 

In recent months we have seen report after report focus on coastal and river flooding. Whilst it is true that these have been the main causes of flooding in the last two winters, we know from experience that surface water flooding is just as serious an issue - if not more serious. For that reason, research into this area needs to be done and properly funded to get a complete picture of flooding in the UK. We believe this would enable better planning and spending of government money.

Have You Applied For Your Grant Yet? 

It is equally disappointing to read that the take-up of the government's resilience grant has been low following the flooding. Back in January the government introduced a series of measures to help home and business owners make their properties resilient to future flooding events -including £5,000 grants for homeowners which could be spent on introducing flood resilience measures such as flood barriers. Despite that, Lee Sherriff, who is a councillor in Carlisle is quoted as saying that the take-up levels for this grant have been lower than expected. 

“We have seen a low uptake in the resources that have been made available, including the £5,000 resilience grants. There have been a lot of homes which were covered during Storm Desmond but now it’s come for owners to renew their policies, they’ve struggled to get insurance. It’s better to be prepared so looking at whether you can get insurance through Flood Re is definitely something that’s worth doing. We don’t know what could happen this winter so it’s best to be prepared.” 

If your property was flooded as a direct result of December’s storms, it may not be too late to make a claim for a resilience grant. At Flood Ark we are still actively quoting and working for property owners in areas such as Whaley, Cumbria, Calderdale and Lancashire, who currently have applications which are being processed.  

You can find out more about applying for a resilience grant, links to many local authorities can be found by clicking here

If you would like more information about our range of flood barriers, do not hesitate to get in touch and arrange a FREE survey of your property. You can call us on +44 (0) 1603 879977 or drop us an email to info@floodark.com.