Floods can happen anywhere at anytime, caused by rising ground water levels, burst water drains, hillside run-off from sudden rain as well as flooding from rivers and the sea.
Even if you live miles away from the coastline or a river, there is still a chance flooding could affect you. The most common sources of flooding are:
River flooding occurs when a watercourse cannot cope with the water draining into it from surrounding land. This can happen, for example, when heavy rain falls on an already waterlogged catchment.
Coastal flooding results from a combination of high tides and stormy conditions. If low atmospheric pressure coincides with a high tide, a tidal surge may happen which can cause serious flooding.
Surface water flooding occurs when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drainage capacity of the local area. It is much more difficult to predict and pinpoint than river or coastal flooding.
Sewer flooding occurs when sewers are overwhelmed by nearby rainfall or when they become blocked. The likelihood of flooding depends on the capacity of the local sewerage system. Land and property can be flooded with water contaminated with raw sewage as a result.
Groundwater flooding occurs when water levels in the ground rise above surface levels. It is most likely to occur in areas underlain by permeable rocks, called aquifers. These can be extensive regional aquifers, such as chalk or sandstone, or may be more local sand or river gravels in valley bottoms underlain by less permeable rocks.
Source: The Environment Agency
Your Risk Of Flood
What You Can Do To Prepare