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Flooding advice and information

This page contains advice on:

A number of factors can lead to flooding including heavy rainfall, melting snow, or extreme events such as a tidal surge.

The effects of flooding can have a devastating impact on normal daily life, as well as physical and mental health and wellbeing. However, by taking some basic precautions, residents can prepare themselves for the worst, and keep damage and disruption to a minimum.

Flood and other weather warnings can be found on the left or you can contact Floodline on 0345 988 1188. You can also view current and expired flood warnings online.

The flooding advice leaflet gives further advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.

Flood warnings

There are different types of flood warnings which show how severe the situation is. Read more about flood warnings.

Floodline Warnings Direct

Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service provided by the Environment Agency which provides flood warnings by phone, text or email. Sign up for Floodline warnings via the Environment Agency website or by calling 0345 988 1188.


Before a flood

In a flood, you may not have lighting, heating or a telephone line. The better prepared you are in advance, the better you'll cope if anything happens to you and your family. The time to think is now - don't wait until it happens.

  • Make sure you have adequate insurance. Flood damage is included in most buildings insurance policies, but do make sure your home and contents are covered.
  • Make up a flood kit - include key personal documents, torch, battery or wind up radio, rubber gloves, wellingtons, waterproof clothing, first aid kit and blankets.
  • Keep details of your insurance policy and the emergency contact number somewhere safe - preferably as part of your flood kit.
  • Get into the habit of storing valuable or sentimental items upstairs or in a high place.
  • Buy some sandbags or floorboards to block doorways and air bricks. Tips on how to lay sandbags effectively are included in the Environment Agency's flood-proofing guide.
  • Make sure you know where to turn off your gas and electricity.

The flooding advice leaflet gives further advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.


First signs of flooding

  • Focus on the safety of you and your family; always put people before possessions and property. Be prepared to act quickly and follow the guidance of the emergency services.
  • Gather all essentials and take them upstairs, or to a high place. Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water.
  • Make sure your family and pets are upstairs or in a high place, with a means of escape. Help vulnerable people without putting yourself in harm's way.
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if it is safe to do so. Do not touch electrical sources if stood in water
  • If you have an issue with flooding either on or near your property, or a problem with a beck or a river, you can report this by completing the online form.

The flooding advice leaflet gives further advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.


During a flood

Beware of flood hazards:

  • Floods can kill. Don't try to walk or drive through floodwater - six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet of water will float your car.
  • Manhole covers may have come off and there may be other hazards below the water which you can't see.
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water - you may get swept away or be struck by an object in the water.
  • Don't walk on sea defences, riverbanks or cross river bridges - they may collapse in extreme situations or you may be swept off by large waves. Beware of stones and pebbles being thrown up by waves.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater - it may be contaminated with sewage.

The flooding advice leaflet gives further advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.


After a flood

  • Take care if you have to go into flood water. There could be hidden dangers like sharp objects and raised manhole covers.
  • Don't turn on gas or electrics if they may have got wet. Only turn them on when they've been checked by a qualified professional.
  • Don't eat food which has touched flood water. Don't eat food from the fridge or freezer if your electricity has been turned off for more than four hours.
  • Wash your hands regularly with clean water and soap. If there's no clean water, use wet wipes or hand sanitising gel.
  • Phone your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their advice. Take photographs before you start cleaning and ask your insurer before discarding items that cannot be cleaned (such as mattresses and carpets).

Flooding in Middlesbrough

To reduce the risk of flooding, a series of flood risk management assets are in place, which are displayed on the map below.

Middlesbrough Flood Risk Management Strategy

A key duty of the Floods and Water Management Act 2010 is for lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA) to develop a local strategy for managing local flood risk. Middlesbrough's Local Flood Risk Management Strategy shows the extent of flood risk in the town and how it will be managed in partnership with others. In particular, the strategy will identify risks and include actions to alleviate flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.