Drivers urged to check flood risk ahead of Christmas getaway

Driving through flood water can be life-threatening – just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car

Sadly, instead of snow, wet and windy conditions are expected over the festive weekend.

The Environment Agency is warning motorists of a wet – not white – Christmas this year and is urging drivers to check their area for flood risk, especially if they plan on driving somewhere they don’t really know.

Storm Barbara is expected to bring heavy rainfall across parts of the north-west of England and the Pennines today, and possibly again later on Saturday and on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day sea levels will be high in the east of the country, particularly Yorkshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. These wet and windy conditions bring a low risk of flooding to the UK’s roads.

Driving through flood water can be life-threatening – just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car. ‎

If you’re travelling to see friends or family, don’t forget to check the flood risk for your route and destination.

The Environment Agency recommends that people stay away from swollen rivers, flood water, and coastal roads and promenades in a storm.

Chris Wilding, Environment Agency Flood Risk Duty Manager, said: “We want to make sure everyone gets home safely. It’s easy to check our warnings and alerts or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”

Environment Agency teams are on standby throughout the festive period and will issue flood warnings and alerts if they’re needed.

Tips for driving safely in flood water

  • Drive steadily and slowly at around 1-2mph, gradually accelerating to 3-4mph
  • Let the car in front pass through first because if they get stuck or stop, you’ll be forced to stop too
  • If possible, drive in the centre of the road where the water will be shallowest
  • If your car stalls, don’t restart it – you may cause damage to the engine
  • Avoid driving fast through puddles – this can cause you to aquaplane
  • Test your brakes after leaving the water
  • The Environment Agency recommends not entering flood water more than 10cm deep. If you think your car won’t make it though, don’t take the risk and find an alternative route

If you’re affected by the weather and need to contact us over the festive period, we’re here to help.

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