Flash flooding is a common problem during periods of torrential rainfall. Flash flooding usually occurs when the drainage infrastructure on the highway becomes overwhelmed with the sheer amount of water entering the system.
Water can quickly accumulate on the road surface and while this may look dramatic, it is usually short-lived and water levels will go down when the rain stops and the drains begin to empty into sewers. Surface flooding is a normal consequence of torrential rainfall and does not normally require you to contact the emergency services or local authority. If your road is affected by a flash flood, do not attempt to drive or walk in the water as it can be dangerous. It can take several hours for flash floodwater to fully dissipate.
You can prepare for potential flooding by moving valuable and electrical items upstairs or, if possible, to a higher place - ensuring you have any essential items you will need, such as medication, glasses, hearing aid batteries, insurance documents, bank cards and money, somewhere safe. Turn off your gas, electricity and water before flood water enters your home (contact your supplier if you are unsure how to do this).
If you have been flooded, contact your insurance company and follow their advice, particularly before disposing of damaged items. If you haven't got insurance the National Flood Forum can offer help and support. Call them on 01299 403055 or visit them at www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk. Call 999 if there is a threat to life.
If you are a Wolverhampton Homes tenant and need to report an emergency repairs issue during office hours please contact 01902 556789 or, after 5pm, please contact the Out of Hours team via 24-hour webchat or on 01902 552999. If it's not an emergency, please report it online.
Public Health England have published guidance on how to safely clear up your home after a flood.
Useful Contacts and Information
The following notes give guidance on who to contact during severe weather and flooding:
Emergencies/Risk to Life:
If flooding causes a risk to life you should always contact the emergency services on 999. City of Wolverhampton Council can be contacted out of hours for emergencies only via 01902 552999. If the issue is not an emergency, please report it via our website.
Latest Weather Forecasts
The Met Office provides the latest weather forecasts and warnings for the UK. Visit their website or download the app to your smartphone for up-to-date information.
The Met Office also supply information on what to do in a flood.
Sign Up For Weather Alerts
You can sign up to receive localised weather alerts from the Met Office by visiting MET Office Alerts. Simply enter your email address and then select the region(s) you wish to receive alerts for.
You can also sign up to receive local flood warnings by phone, email or text message by visiting UK Flood Warnings.
Both services are free.
Flooding from public sewers
Severn Trent Water owns and manages the network of public foul and surface water sewers.
To report an overflowing public sewer, you should contact Severn Trent Plc on Freephone 0800 783 4444.
Flooding from private sewers or drains
If your private drains or sewers are overflowing, you will need a drainage contractor to deal with any blockage. See "Yellow Pages" under "Drain and Pipe Cleaning".
If you are uncertain if any blockage is in the public or private sewers, the water company should be able to determine this, once on site, then recharge you the cost of any work on the private sewers.
Flooding from the public highway
For flooding from the public highway or reporting blocked road gullies or grating:
Telephone: 01902 551155
Flooding from a burst water main
The local water supply company for Wolverhampton is Severn Trent Plc. They can be contacted on Freephone 0800 783 4444.
The water company is responsible for their supply up to and including the water stopcock.
Flooding from a water service pipe or internal pipework
This is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord and would need the attention of a plumber.
Flooding from a main river or watercourse
The main rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency. Telephone: 0845 933 3111.
In addition, the Agency provides a "Floodline", which is a 24-hour advice and information service for floods and flood warning on 0845 988 1188.
The main 'rivers' in Wolverhampton are:
- Smestow Brook
- River Tame (Bilston Brook)
Flooding from other water courses
Watercourses, other than main rivers, are the responsibility of riparian owners. You are a riparian owner if your property or land is on, or very near, a watercourse. Riparian owners have a duty to keep the watercourse clear of any obstruction to flow and the Council can serve legal notices on riparian owners to deal with obstructions.
Certain strategic watercourses, that are known to pose a high risk of property flooding if they become blocked, are checked and maintained by the council's contractor on a regular basis.