Flooding:before, during and after

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Even if you live a long way from a river or the sea, floods can happen anywhere from a variety of sources which include surface water, blocked sewers and groundwater as well as rivers and the sea. Generally, it is up to the landowner to maintain any flood defences and to take reasonable steps not to increase the flood risk to anyone else.

Am I at risk of flooding?  

You can find out if you are at risk of flooding, see flood warning information and get advice on how to prepare for flooding from the Environment Agency’s flooding pages.

If you are in a flood warning area you can call the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0345 988 1188 and arrange to receive a telephone message if a flood is expected soon. Floodline is available 24 hours a day, and can also provide immediate practical advice on flood risk and what to do before, during and after a flood.

Flooding contacts

A variety of authorities will investigate flooding depending on where it occurs and will have plans to decrease the risk of flooding.

Copeland Borough Council

We maintain a number of smaller watercourses where they run across our land. These are generally becks that are too small to have a name (the Environment Agency takes care of larger watercourses which are termed main rivers, see below). If you have any concerns about blocked trash screens, flooding from smaller watercourses or from private sewers then please contact Copeland Direct on 0845 054 8600 and ask to speak to the Flood and Coastal Defence Engineer or email

Cumbria County Council

Cumbria County Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority and co-ordinates flood risk management in the county. They keep adopted roads free from flooding and make provision for the runoff of surface water. You can contact the highways hotline on 0845 609 6609 to report flooding on adopted roads (except the A595 between Calder Bridge and Distington).

Highways Agency

The Highways Agency keeps the main A595 free from flooding, contact the Highways Hotline on 0845 602 1487 to report a flood on the A595 trunk road between Calder bridge and Distington.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency deal with flooding from main rivers. and some tidal flooding. Main rivers include large rivers such as the Ehen, Esk and Duddon, large becks like Pow Beck, Skirting Beck and Haverigg Pool down to smaller becks such as Midgey Gill and Lingla Beck. They also provide information and advice and flood warnings on their 24 hour Floodline,  0845 988 118. They have set out a plan for sustainable flood risk management in the area for the next 50 to 100 years.

United Utilities

United Utilities  are the first point of contact about sewer problems. You will need to look after your own drains but once they connect with drains from another property they will be looked after by United Utilities. They maintain sewer pipes that are shared by more than one property or that run beyond your property boundary (apart from in a few cases where these sewers are privately owned). You can find out whether they look after your sewer on their sewers and drains explained page. Please report any problems with the sewer network to United Utilities on 0845 706 2200.

See also

Flood protection - to see how to protect your property and health from the effects of flooding.

Coastal Erosion - to see how the risk of coastal flooding and erosion is managed in Copeland.

Emergency contact numbers - a list of useful numbers to keep handy in case of flooding or any other emergency

Preparing for an emergency - link to Cumbria County Council's website

Advice following a flood - one

Advice following a flood - two

Advice following  flood - three


Published: 5 July 2012 - 1:42pm