The Met Office is warning that thunderstorms could strike across England and Wales this week … and with thunderstorms there is always the danger of flash flooding.
Forecasters say the storms could strike over a large swathe of the UK from Wednesday to Friday and have put out an urgent weather warning for all three days.
This means there is a chance of flash flooding anywhere at any time and the Met Office is warning: “Although there remains significant uncertainty in location and timing, areas of thunderstorms are expected to move northeast across parts of England and Wales from late Wednesday through to Friday morning.
“Whilst not all locations will be affected, some intense thunderstorms may occur during this period with torrential rain, hail, frequent lightning and strong gusty winds possible.
“Rainfall totals of around 30mm could fall in an hour with some locations potentially receiving around 50mm in two to three hours, although these will be fairly isolated.”
Sudden torrential rain which people sometimes refer to as a cloudburst can drop thousands of tonnes of water on an area in just minutes and, basically, the ground it lands on simply can’t cope with that huge amount of water suddenly descending on it.
Flash flooding – which can often happen during thunderstorms - is often caused when ground is bone hard dry or, ironically, already saturated with rain. Add in the possibility that drains and gullies have not been cleared out by councils and you’ve a potential flooding disaster. They often hit quite small areas so are impossible to predict but the consequences can be devastating.
Flash floods often happen within minutes of a torrential downpour, giving people very little time to react to get flood defences in place to save them from the catastrophic consequences of flooding.
The Met Office states: “Flash flooding happens when rain falls so fast the underlying ground cannot cope, or drain it away, fast enough. Roads can become like rivers and if there is a lot of water it can flood buildings and carry cars away. So, if the rain is falling too fast for the ground or drains to cope there is a risk of flash flooding.”
Local councils in the UK have no responsibility to provide sandbags and people are responsible for protecting their own homes and businesses from flooding. Some councils recommend FloodSax sandless sandbags which are a flexible alternative to traditional sandbags that are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.
When FloodSax come into contact with water they absorb 20 litres which transforms them from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes.
In their dry state they resemble large pillowcases and their large absorbent surface area means they can soak up leaks, spills and drips in hard-to-reach places inside home and businesses.
Around 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.