What to do and who to call in the event of more flash flooding

Fenland District Council has issued advice on what to do and who to call in the event of flash flooding. 

Fenland District Council has issued advice on what to do and who to call in the event of flash flooding. - Credit: Ian Carter 

With more flooding set to hit the county today, Fenland District Council has released information on what to do and who to call.  

Several homes were destroyed last night (December 23) after flash flooding hit Cambridgeshire, just hours before Christmas Eve.  

Here's a step-by-step guide to make your own flood defence:  

  • Check how many ground floor doors, patio doors, catflaps and airbricks there are in your home  
  • Get enough plastic sheeting to cover all of these gaps. Leave a minimum 80cm overlap around the edges. For doors, cut plywood (or a similar material) to cover the doorway and hold the sheeting in place  
  • Get bags that can be filled with sand or soil. These will hold the sheeting in contact with the ground. Try not to overfill them as you have to carry them and put them in place. 

A council spokesperson said: “Flooding can happen very quickly. It can affect many homes and businesses, even if they're not directly at risk 

“Many people think that flooding will never happen to them - but it could.  

“Almost five million people in England are at risk of flooding; this is set to increase with a changing climate. Our local area is at risk of fluvial, groundwater and surface water flooding.  

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“When a property does flood, it has a huge impact on individuals, businesses and communities. Return to normal life can take months.” 

During an emergency, or when there are flood warnings: 

  • Check for flood warnings from the Environment Agency 
  • Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 (calls charged at local rates) 
  • Listen to local radio for updates (BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 95.7 and 96FM or Heart 103FM) 
  • Standby for advice from emergency services 
  • You can reach our telephone contact centre on 01354 654321.  

After a flood warning, you should:  

  • alert your neighbours 
  • move people, pets and valuables to a safe place 
  • check your car. Move it to higher ground if possible 
  • switch off your gas and electricity supplies (if flooding is imminent) 

“Our policy is not to provide sandbags to residents or businesses,” the spokesperson added.  

“However, in very exceptional circumstances, we will try to provide sandbags or other assistance to residents in domestic properties that are at risk of serious flooding.  

“Businesses are not covered by this service. Our limited stock of sandbags are prioritised for 'collective protection' e.g across a road, river bank etc. 

“If your home or business is likely to flood, you should keep a stock of ready to use sandbags and/or sand.  

“You can buy sandbags from hardware shops. Plastic bags filled with soil are also a good alternative.” 

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “High levels of rainfall have been recorded at the Chatteris rain gauge as a result of persistent heavy rainfall yesterday and overnight.  

“Consequently, flooding of roads and farmland is expected. We expect flooding to affect Middle Level, including Pondersbridge, Ramsey St Marys, Benwick and Welney.  

“Further light rainfall is possible over the next 24 hours. We are closely monitoring the situation.  

“Our incident response staff are checking defences and liaising with emergency services.  

“Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded.  

“This message will be updated this afternoon Thursday, December 24, or as the situation changes.”