Suffolk County Council has asked that we pass on the following message:
The storm brought over 75mm of rain fall over large areas of the county from Thursday night into Friday, an event this severe has less than a 1% chance of happening each year. The storm resulted in more than a month’s worth of average October rainfall in just 24 hours. This is the most widespread flooding event to impact the County for a significant number of years and it is anticipated that several hundred homes may have been internally flooded from rivers and surface water.
Staff from local authorities and many other organisations, co-ordinated by the Joint Emergency Planning Unit, have been working alongside countless community volunteers to support the initial stages of recovery across Suffolk. For many households this will obviously be a long and difficult process. The following page on our website: Flood Recovery information for Suffolk - Suffolk County Council, provides useful information about flood recovery that can be passed on to impacted residents.
Suffolk County Council is designated as the Lead Local Flood Authority, and has a duty to collect information about the impact of flooding including undertaking investigations into “significant” flood events.
Council staff will carry out these investigations when internal flooding has occurred multiple times for a single dwelling or when five or more homes are internally flooded in a specific location. Once investigated, the resulting reports seek to highlight the likely causes, options to reduce future flood risk and the relevant organisation/homeowner responsibility for undertaking any improvements. The Council has no powers to require any of the responsible bodies to take action, but the reports are published on the Council’s website.
So, what happens next?
With an event on the scale of Storm Babet one of the immediate challenges is to record where the flooding has occurred and the extent of the impact.
We are asking for your support to encourage all affected residents to report significant flooding to individual properties by clicking on this link and using the Highways Reporting Tool, if they do not have access to the internet they should call the SCC customer service number: 0345 606 6171.
How to use the Reporting Tool:
Click on Report It, (green button in the top left hand corner) then click Drainage and Flooding and select the most appropriate drop down option. Please include as much information as you have, there is also an option to upload photos.
Once a report has been submitted, officers will contact the resident to gather further information and prioritise those locations that meet the criteria for an official investigation (known as a Section 19 Investigation). It is anticipated that this initial contact will be made during the next week. The investigations will follow, but until the scale of the challenge is determined it is difficult to estimate the timescale to complete this task. It is expected to take at least several weeks, but could take months before all of the investigation reports are published.
It is far too early to say what new projects may be possible to reduce the risk of this type of flooding happening again. The results of the investigations may reveal opportunities for the Council and other responsible organisations (such as the Environment Agency), landowners and homeowners to increase resilience to flooding. The Government currently has a 6-year, £5.2 Billion programme to fund flood risk projects and there is the potential to access this in Suffolk, however local match funding from local authorities, businesses and even homeowners is often required to fully fund this work.
If you know of residents in your communities which suffered significant flooding to their property, please forward them this email and encourage them to use the reporting tool to allow us to prioritise the next steps.
Click on this link to the Riparian ownership guide 2019 (responsibilities for managing ditches and other watercourses):
If you have any questions, please email: email@example.com – but please do not submit reports of flooding to this inbox and be aware our response times may be slower than usual in the short term.