Surace Water Flooding

Lead Agency in Merseyside – Environment Agency


Flooding can come from a number of sources - coastal, rivers, surface water or burst water mains.  Surface water flooding, after sudden and heavy rainfall, happens very quickly.


The predicted impacts could include:

  • Risk to life (people and animals);
  • Damage to properties, businesses, roads, structures and infrastructure;
  • Pollution and contamination of local environments;
  • Long-term damage to tourism and businesses.


The consequences could include:

  • Disruption to utilities, electric, gas and water supply;
  • Flooding of properties;
  • Evacuation of residents;
  • Disruption to affected businesses;
  • Short, medium and long-term accommodation of those whose homes are flooded;
  • Unrecoverable damage to businesses;
  • Long-term psychological and health impacts;
  • Long-term restoration and recovery issues for homes and businesses.


  • Identification of what areas could be affected by flood water and who is at risk;
  • Production of multi-agency plans to assist with the evacuation of those communities who are at risk;
  • Provision of guidance for the public about protecting property from flooding;
  • Strategic area planning to protect the areas at risk;
  • Development of ways and means of alerting the public as early as possible when there is a significant flood risk;
  • Continuing to invest in maintaining and improving our sea defences;
  • Developing flood rescue and assistance for those who become isolated by flooding.





It's never too late to take action and prepare for flooding. Follow these simple steps to protect your home or business:

  • Check the flood advice in your area to know when and where flooding will happen.  Listen carefully to weather forecasts or visit websites, heed warning and advice;
  • Charge mobile phone devices;
  • Park your car outside the flood zone;
  • Prepare a flood kit to help you cope in the event of flooding to your home and business;
  • Store valuables/irreplaceable items up high, including electrical devices, important documents and furniture;
  • Turn off gas, water and electricity supplies;
  • Avoid contact with flood water it may be contaminated and regularly wash your hands;
  • Listen to the Emergency Services, if they tell you to evacuate then do so.

If you are trapped in a building by floodwater, follow these simple instructions to keep you and your family safe:

  • Go to the highest level in the building you are in;
  • Do not go into attic spaces to avoid being trapped by rising water;
  • Only go to a roof if necessary;
  • Call 999 and wait for help.

More about what to do in a flood

Is it safe for you to drive?

It is safer not to drive in these conditions but if you must drive you can do this more safely by:

  • Slowing down;
  • Using main roads;
  • Using dipped headlights;
  • Giving yourself more time to react on slippery surfaces;
  • Keeping a bigger gap between vehicles.

More about driving in severe weather

What about flood water?

  • It is not safe to drive or walk or swim through floodwater, avoid it where possible and if you are affected by fast flowing or deep water call 999 and wait for help.

Thinking about your neighbours

  • Help to protect the vulnerable people that you know, including older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone: they may need support with food and medical supplies.
  • If you are worried about your health or that of somebody you know, ring NHS 111.

Be prepared for weather warnings to change quickly. When a weather warning is issued, stay up to date with the weather in your area.