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Flooding

(10 Posts)
Welliebootsandworries Tue 14-Mar-17 18:28:26

I'd appreciate some advice.

We live in an area that was badly flooded in Jan 2016. It was said that it was the worst flooding for almost 200 years. Some houses in my small town had four feet of water in them and the families had to move out for months.

We were right on the edge of it. I thought we were completely safe, but we had a desperate few hours when the water started coming up our street, trying to move as much stuff upstairs as possible, while the lights flickered on and off.

In the end we were ok; the water was six inches deep in the road, three inches deep in the pavement, but we have a low wall along our front garden which kept the water out. The water was 3 inches deep at the bottom of our single-car driveway, but there's enough of a slope for the water to stay at the bottom. When people drove their cars through the flooded street, moving them to higher ground, a wave went up and hit our garage door, but drained back down immediately. We had moved our car straightaway, but even if we hadn't, it would have been ok. The tyres would have got wet, but that's all.

Here's where I need advice. DH thinks that if it happened once, it could happen again, but next time it could be much worse. He wants to move house, even though we are very happy with the house, have great neighbours etc. Obviously, moving house costs thousands of pounds, which we don't have. We'd either have to increase our mortgage, or downsize to release capital to cover the costs.

I think that if it happened once it could happen again, but that it's unlikely to be much worse next time. I think we just need to prep for it.

This is what I've done so far:

Bought LED lights, torches and a headlamp in case we have a full powercut next time.

Bought 20 lidded plastic boxes, so that we could pack a drawer full, or shelf full into each one quickly, move it upstairs, and stack them. It would make replacing everything easy too. Last time was chaotic.

Bought a tarpaulin and two hydrosnakes to put along the base of the garage door - this would keep waves out, but also if the flood water was 6inches deeper, it would be enough to keep water out.

Bought another two hydrosnakes to put across the gate from the driveway to the house. The water would only reach the gate if it was 6 inches deeper next time.

Four sandbags for the front door. We have a couple of steps up to the door, so I think the water would need to be two foot deeper to reach the door itself

A hydrosnake for the back garage door - water would need to be a foot deeper to reach it.

A hydrosnake for the back door of the house. We have steps up to back door so again the water would need to be a couple of feet deeper to reach it.

DH isn't interested in prepping; he feels it won't be enough and we need to move.

Experienced preppers, what do you think?

cozietoesie Wed 15-Mar-17 12:57:35

Has DH considered that selling might not be so easy now that you've had a recent flood? Have you declared the matter, for example, to your insurers? What have they said ?

ExplodedCloud Wed 15-Mar-17 13:02:00

I'd be worried about your ability to sell too. At least if you take precautions and successfully avoid any flooding for the next couple of years you look a bit less desperate.

BonnieWeeJeannieMcCall Wed 15-Mar-17 13:32:01

We haven't told the insurers because we weren't flooded. The road / pavement on the other side of our front garden wall was 6 / 3 inches deep in water, but the wall kept water out of our property. There was flood water at the bottom of our driveway (which is a short driveway, just one car length) and passing cars sent a wave up the driveway, but it drained back down. Even if the floodwater had been six inches higher, we wouldn't have sustained any damage.

Further down the street, some houses had water enter their underfloor through air-bricks, but that water was all pumped out within 24 hours. No-one in our street had any actual damage.

Other parts of the town suffered very badly. 46 families had to move out completely, for varying lengths of time.

BonnieWeeJeannieMcCall Wed 15-Mar-17 13:32:28

(Name change fail!)

Welliebootsandworries Wed 15-Mar-17 13:36:25

We haven't told the insurers because we weren't flooded. The road / pavement on the other side of our front garden wall was 6 / 3 inches deep in water, but the wall kept water out of our property. There was flood water at the bottom of our driveway (which is a short driveway, just one car length) and passing cars sent a wave up the driveway, but it drained back down. Even if the floodwater had been six inches higher, we wouldn't have sustained any damage.

Further down the street, some houses had water enter their underfloor through air-bricks, but that water was all pumped out within 24 hours. No-one in our street had any actual damage.

Other parts of the town suffered very badly. 46 families had to move out completely, for varying lengths of time.

Welliebootsandworries Wed 15-Mar-17 13:51:23

Yes, DH has considered that selling might not be easy. He's willing to take a financial hit. He's worried that if it happens again, but worse, that our house will be unsellable.

I feel that if it happens again, even if it's a bit worse (i.e. 6 to 8 inches worse) we still won't be much affected.

DH is envisaging a scenario in which the floods rise a couple of feet higher than this flood (which was the worst for almost 200 years), the worst affected houses would be under 6 ft of water, about 70 families would be out of their homes etc.

A two feet higher flood would flood our garage, and destroy our deep freeze, lawnmower etc, but possibly still not flood our house, especially with sandbags at the doors.

Newtssuitcase Wed 15-Mar-17 18:32:39

Assuming that you can't move then I think you've taken some decent steps already (although those hydrosnakes will only prevent the water to a certain extent). I would be keeping a stock of everything necessary for a power cut, torches, candles, matches, batteries , method of heating, means of cooking etc plus potentially water in case the water supply was affected by the power outage.

It sounds like you've given it thought though which is the main thing. If you have a plan you're half way there.

Welliebootsandworries Wed 15-Mar-17 22:26:39

I have 32 litres of water stored.

I have stocked up on batteries.

Last time the church kitchen was providing hot soup for anyone who wanted it, and the butcher was providing hot sausage rolls. There were actually volunteers going round the houses with hot soup and hot drinks. So I'm assuming that would happen again, and that cooking wouldn't be an issue.

I think we could move, but it would be expensive and I'd hate to leave this house. There is no reason at all to move other than DH's worry that there will be another flood and it will be worse next time.

What are the chances that a once-in-two-hundred-year flood will be followed by a worse flood?

Newtssuitcase Thu 16-Mar-17 06:31:12

Hmm well personally I think your planning falls down there.

I would say the fact that it has happened once means its likely to happen again. There are more instances of flooding now than there were in the past due to a combination of climate change, an increase in the amount of hard landscaping, lack of funds to dredge rivers and the increasing amount of building on flood plains. As such I think that if you've flooded once then you should assume it will happen again.

I'm with your DH and would move whilst you can still legitimately say that your house wasn't really affected. You might not really "want" to move now but your situation might be very different in a few years' time.

I also think that relying on the local church to provide hot soup and the butcher to provide hot sausage rolls is very naive (but then you are on the preppers topic wink). You have no way of knowing that would happen again. You need some food supplies and a method of cooking (which doesn't have to be elaborate - a basic rotating stock of non perishables and a camping stove will get you started).

I would also have solar chargers and large power packs for phones/wifi router etc and a wired telephone with a telephone extension socket upstairs if you don't have one. Anything precious such as paper copies of old photos would also be permanently upstairs if this was my house.

I would also probably have a small generator and some fuel in case the power to the area goes out but your house is unaffected and its safe to have it running.

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