Councils across the UK have launched awareness campaigns to highlight the devastating impact of flash floods.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is warning home owners and businesses to prepare against the risk of flash floods. This includes: regularly checking forecasts and knowing how to turn off gas, electricity and water.
They also advise having contingency plans in place for moving essential items upstairs.
Flash flooding can lead to an inch of rain falling in just 15 minutes and, the LGA says, it only takes 15cms of fast-flowing water to knock an adult over and 60cms to sweep away a 4x4 car or small lorry.
If there is a flash flood, councils warn, people should never try to walk or drive.
The advice comes as research suggests the nation’s summer weather is becoming more volatile and global warming is leading to a spike in flash floods.
The LGA also calls on the Government to devolve new flood defence funding to local areas, with councils working with communities and businesses to ensure money is directed towards projects that best reflect local needs.
Cllr Peter Box, LGA Environment spokesman, said:
‘Flash floods can bring devastation to communities within a matter of minutes, causing enormous disruption to families and businesses.
‘Councils up and down the country have been doing everything they can to prepare for heavy rainfalls this week by launching awareness campaigns to highlight the dangers.
‘They are also working closely with emergency services, such as the police and firefighters, to minimise disruption to residents and businesses and help protect communities.’