Flood recovery information
Flood recovery information
Updated: Wednesday 5 March 2014
You can also follow the Environment Agency's twitter feed for South East England for more information.
Who should I call?
We understand that it can be hard to know who to contact about what issue. The table below seeks to explain some of the main areas:
|Problem||Responsible Agency||Contact details|
|Gullies||Surrey County Council||Telephone: 0300 200 1003|
Website: Drainage and flooding
|Sewage||Thames Water||Telephone: 0845 9200 800|
Website: Drains and Sewers
|Rivers||Environment Agency||Telephone: 03708 506 506|
Website: Rivers and sea levels
|Verges, paths and roads||Surrey County Council||Telephone: 0300 200 1003|
Website: Problems on roads and highways
|Vulnerable residents||Surrey County Council Adult Social Care||Telephone: 0300 200 1005|
Out of hours: 01483 517898
Website: Social Care and Housing
|Homelessness||Spelthorne Council||Telephone: 01784 446380|
Website: Homelessness and prevention
Flood Recovery Trailer
The National Flood Forum is a charity that raises the awareness of flood risks, helps people and communities to protect themselves and supports those who have endured the misery of flooding.
The Flood Recovery Trailer is purpose built as a mobile "drop in" centre for support and advice. Run by National Flood Forum staff, it offers a "neutral" venue for people to come and gain understanding and assistance on all issues connected to being flooded. It also offers a facility for Environment Agency, Council and Water Company staff to offer information to flood victims
The National Flood Forum provide a telephone helpline for all flood related enquires including insurance. You can contact them on 01299 403 055 or visit their website http://nationalfloodforum.org.uk/
The Flood Recovery Trailer will be visiting the following locations:
|Monday 3 March||Green Street Car Park, Sunbury TW16 6RA||10am - 2pm||Spelthorne|
|Shepperton Village Hall, High Street, Shepperton TW17 9AU||4 - 7pm|
|Tuesday 4 March||Car park, Runnymede Pleasure Grounds, Egham, TW20 0AE||10am - 2pm||Runnymede|
|Chertsey Lane, between Coopers Close and Timsway, Egham, TW18||4 - 7pm|
|Wednesday 5 March||Recreation ground, Pond Road, Egham TW20||10am - 2pm||Runnymede|
|Chertsey Lane by Truss's Island, Chertsey TW18||4 - 7pm|
|Thursday 6 March||High Street, Staines-upon-Thames||10am - 2pm||Spelthorne|
|Laleham Park, off Shepperton Road, TW18||4 - 7pm|
|Friday 7 March||The Kingfisher Pub, Chertsey Bridge Road, Chertsey KT16 8LF||10am - 4pm||Runnymede and Spelthorne|
|Saturday 8 March||Stanwell Moor Village Hall, Horton Road, TW19 6AG||9am - 12pm||Spelthorne|
Collections are continuing where we can. In an effort to provide support to residents whose properties have been damaged by flood waters, we are arranging for a refuse vehicle to visit the worst affected roads.
Help clearing up
Please check with your insurance company as they will normally cover the cost of removal - depending on your policy. Spelthorne and Surrey County Councils are working with residents to help in the disposal of damaged goods. Furniture damaged by flooding can be taken to Charlton Lane Community Recycling Centre. We strongly advise you contact your insurance company before you get rid of any goods. Please make sure you also keep a record of anything that is damaged. Thames Water have responsibilities to clear up after sewer and drains flooding
We are working with Surrey CC to provide skips which we hope will be available soon. Surrey CC will not be charging residents who bring flood waste in vans, for example, floorboards, timber, rubble etc to the Community Recycling Site.
Disposing of sandbags
You can dispose of used sandbags, or exchange them for new ones, at Charlton Lane tip in Shepperton (TW17 8QA). Opening times are Monday - Friday: 8am - 4.15pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am - 4.15pm. We advise that when doing this, you wear gloves and don't split the bags open.
You can also store any unused sandbags in a dry place in case you need them in the future. We wouldn't advise storing wet bags and would recommend you keep at least six dry ones per household.
IMPORTANT: Where sandbags have come in contact with flood water they should be handled with care in case of any contamination. For example, gloves should be worn and hands washed thoroughly afterwards. More vulnerable people, such as children or pregnant women, should avoid any contact with the sandbags or sand as a precaution.
We are working with Surrey County Council to clean up our roads and open spaces.
Council Tax and Business Rates
If you had to leave your property due to flooding you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. Once details of Government funding are clarified the Council will finalise and publicise details of its scheme.
Both households and businesses will shortly (once additional guidance issued from Government) be able to apply for Repair and Renewal grants of up to £5,000 (including cost of initial survey) to undertake improvements to their premises to make them more resistant to future flooding. This would apply to works over and above that covered by insurance.
Businesses affected by flooding will be able to access financial support in two further ways. Businesses who are paying Business Rates whose premises were flooded will be able to apply for a three month relief from business rates.
Secondly, small and medium sized businesses in flood affected areas will be able to apply for Business Support grants which help them recover by providing financial compensation for indirect impacts of flooding such as loss of custom. The Council's Economic Development team (please contact Keith McGroary email@example.com ) is currently undertaking a survey of the impact on the Borough's businesses. This will guide discussions with the Government and bidding for additional funding.
Once further guidance has been issued by the Government the Council will publicise details of all these schemes and how to apply.
If you have household insurance, call them or your landlord immediately. They will send a loss adjuster as soon as they can. Do not use this as an insurance 'opportunity'. Fraud is a criminal offence and will lead to your claim being cancelled. Loss Adjusters are professionals who are keen to help honest people and they like claimants who do everything reasonable to mitigate their own loss. Communicate clearly and clarify what terms of reference the insurance company feels is reasonable regarding your claim.
The ABI has also produced a leaflet on what to expect from your home insurer. This leaflet includes information on how your insurance company should respond in an emergency situation.
Here are some insurance covers and what they mean:
- fully insured; new for old - you should get full recompense of all expenses, less any excess on our policy.
- full insured - you may get full recompense but the policy may adjust downwards for fair wear and tear and general depreciation since new. A 15-year-old kitchen does not always justify a new kitchen.
- under-insured - you should get the 'fair percentage'. The insurance company will take the rebuild cost you have insured for, when compared with the current correct rebuild cost of your whole house. In simple terms a house of rebuild value £100,000 insured for only £75,000 will result in a food claim of £25,000 being reduced by 25% due to the under-insured loss.
Try to remain calm and courteous at all times. Keep a book with a record of all conversations and communications with your insurers and various contractors and consultants. The next phase is a complex project and will benefit from as many organisational skills as you can provide.
Keep photographs of everything; regularly update the insurance company with letters, emails or handwritten notes of what you are doing. Try to 'stop' and make a plan. If you or your family have to move out or need to leave the area, make realistic decisions. Many houses will take six months or even longer.
Your insurance company (via your loss adjusters) will arrange for a professional cleaning company to come and undertake work, or if the damage is severe, appoint a 'strip-out' contractor to remove flood-damaged walls and floors plus damaged goods. This may include kitchen units and all electrical fittings.
If you're a tenant and have taken out contents insurance, household contents, fixtures and fittings should be covered. It's normally the responsibility of your landlord to provide building insurance. However you are advised to check with your landlord and your policy.
If flood water has entered your property, switch off the electricity at the mains, if it is safe to do so. Do not touch any electrical equipment, switches or sockets when standing in water or if the electrical equipment is wet, damp or has been flooded and the electricity is on.
If your fuse or meter has been under water, please keep away from the equipment and call your Power Distributor. In Spelthorne, this is usually Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution and you can call their emergency number to arrange a safety visit on 0800 072 7282.
Please note that the power distribution company's responsibility only covers the incoming supply cable and service "cut out". The meter and internal wiring are the responsibility of your power provider (the company to whom you pay your electricity bills).
- make sure the property is safe before you enter;
- switch off the electricity supply at the fuse box, if it is safe to do so. If there is evidence of water inside the fuse box or if there are signs of arcing or overheating, seek professional advice;
- unplug damaged electrical appliances and move all portable ones away from the area affected by flooding;
- arrange for other services, such as gas, to be switched off. Electricity and gas supplies should not be turned back on until you have had professional advice that it is safe to do so. The main switch normally cuts off all the power to the circuit breakers / fuses; and
- use a registered electrician to assess the condition and damage to electrical wiring, equipment and appliances that have been affected by the flood
- use candles to guide you when entering the property;
- assume the electricity in a flooded property is off;
- touch any electrical appliances, cable or equipment if you are standing in flood water or if they are sitting in water;
- use any mains powered electrical appliances in areas affected by flooding until advised by a registered electrician that it is safe to do so;
- go near any exposed wiring. It may still be live; and
- start to clean up or carry out repairs until you are sure it is safe to do so
If you have concerns about gas see the Gas Safe Register website for more information.
Replacement of heating/boiler systems
For residents who are flooded and their boiler has broken down, and they are eligible for Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) funding -
Call Action Surrey 0800 783 2503
HHCRO eligibility criteria are complex and if anyone's boiler/heating is not working as a result of flooding, they should contact Action Surrey to see if they are able to help - through any of the national schemes.
Action Surrey will access funding for boilers however it is very limited and there is a cut off date, 14 March. After this date we have yet to receive confirmation regarding what funding is available.
Funding for solid wall insulation is still available but with the same cut off date. After this date the funding is due to change.
Also if any compensation funding is available, Action Surrey can help householders to access installers for replacement boilers and insulation. If plastering work is required then it's a good time to consider solid wall Insulation.
Cleaning up safely after a flood
Public Health England have been produced this useful leaflet on how to clean up safely following flood.
The Food Standards Agency provide useful information on food safety following flooding.
Damage to road surfaces
Surrey County Council will be inspecting road and pavement surfaces in the areas that have been flooded and will arrange for any repairs. Urgent defects can be reported on Surrey County Council's website or by phoning 03456 009 009.
Taking care of your health
If you are cleaning up after suffering flood damage please take sensible precautions to avoid any risk to your health. Further advice is available at the Public Health England website.
Public Health Advice
The Health Protection Agency provide helpful information on how to clean up after a flood
Rats may become a problem after flooding. If you experience a problem with rats please ring Customer Services on 01784 451499. This service will be free of charge until the end of this week when it wil be reviewed.
Issues with sewage
Thames Water is responsible for the sewerage in Spelthorne. For further information please visit their website or call 0845 9200 800.
Information for Royal Mail customers affected by flooding
The Royal Mail is doing everything it can to collect and deliver, Royal Mail services to customers affected by flooding. Where access is no longer possible Delivery Offices are holding on to mail, allowing mail to be collected with proof of ID, setting up alternative local and temporary collection and/or delivery points, or redirecting mail to alternative addresses upon request.
If Royal Mail is unable to access your address you can request to collect it from your local Delivery Office. You must remember to take identification with you. This service is free of charge.
Redirect free of charge
If you are moving out of the area, Royal Mail can provide a three month redirection free of charge. Please call Royal Mail's customer services 08457 777888 to request this.
For security purposes Royal Mail will need to process a payment from a card registered to the address the mail is being redirected from. Royal Mail will immediately refund the customer and this will be visible in accounts within three to five working days. Redirections take five working days to set up
For more information on Royal Mail visit Royal Mail's website
Don't be pressured in to agreeing to get work done by someone who turns up on your doorstep. Callers from legitimate companies should not insist that you have to make a decision straightaway and should be happy to leave details with you for you to make a decision in your own time.
Building work should always be carried out by qualified professionals - check with Surrey Trading Standards for approved traders using the Buy With Confidence Scheme.
The Council have received over 400 offers of help from members of the public. We are very grateful for these offers and we will be taking up as many as we can. Volunteers will be required for the coming weeks after the flood waters subside and the clean-up operation begins. If you wish to volunteer please complete our online form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community groups are encouraged to make contact with Stuart Mann via this email address.
Thanks to everybody who has generously donated food and cleaning materials for those affected by the recent floods. However, we are unable to store any more so would ask you not to donate further items.
The Council has set up a central fund for financial donations. Donations can be made by telephoning Customer Services, online (from the pay it page select Pay it/ Other Payments/Chief Executive/Feb 2014 Flooding Relief Fund) or via cash directly to Customer Services at the Council Offices in Knowle Green or cheque via post of the Council Offices marked as a flood donation.
We have received donations of food for victims of the flooding, we have sent these donations to local food banks, Manna food bank Staines and Restore food bank Sunbury.
If you have been affected by the flooding and are in need of a food parcel, please contact one of the following agencies who will be able refer you to one of the food banks.
|Spelthorne Housing Options||01784 446383|
Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 11am-3pm
Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne
|Home Start||01784 463200|
|CAB at Sunbury Library||Tuesdays and Thursdays 01932 765041|
|Saxon Sure Start Children's Centre|
Briar Road, Shepperton. TW17 0JB
All flood warnings are serious. Local information is available from:
- Websites - www.spelthorne.gov.uk or http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk
- Floodline - 0845 988 1188
- Local radio - BBC Surrey Radio (104.6 FM)
- Regional TV - ITV London Tonight and BBC London News
- For the latest information on road closures please see the BBC Travel News website
We understand there are ongoing problems with ground water and flooded sewers in some areas of the Borough. Unfortunately these are mostly caused by levels of ground water in the area, which is linked to the river levels but is slower to respond.
We also understand that there has been some confusion about the roles different agencies have in response to groundwater incidents:
- Surrey County Council are the lead flood authority and are responsible for managing and responding to groundwater flooding.
- Environment Agency monitor, warn and inform partners and the public about groundwater issues.
- sewerage flooding, and resolving it, falls under the remit of the sewage undertaker (usually Thames Water).
- Thames Water is responsible for ensuring they maintain and upgrade their sewers, however they do not routinely pump or tanker water except where flooding is limited and or vulnerable institutions are at risk. They do not provide portaloos, sandbags or other resources to protect individual properties.
In order to support residents, Surrey County Council has provided toilets where requested. Spelthorne Council has provided sandbags and worked to make the day centres and leisure centres available for use by those affected. We have been working hard to ensure Thames Water and Surrey County Council are aware of the issues happening locally and are doing all they can to support residents.
If you are vulnerable and need help with your welfare you should contact Surrey County Council on 01483 517898.
If you can no longer stay in your home and have nowhere else to go, contact our Customer Services and we will support you.
Jubilee River information
Some residents have enquired about the impact of the Environment Agency's Jubilee River Scheme on this flood event. For more information about this scheme please visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/151550.aspx.
There is also a short vide below explaining the scheme.