Storm Dennis: 420 properties have flooded as flood warnings reach all-time record

Olivia Heath
Photo credit: OLI SCARFF - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

Flood warnings have hit an all-time record with more than 480 flood warnings and flood alerts in place across England – the highest on record, reveals the Environment Agency.

It comes after Storm Dennis brought torrential rain and strong winds to the UK over the weekend, following Storm Ciara the weekend before, which has led to much of the ground saturated from heavy rain.

While parts of the UK saw winds of more than 90mph, more than a month's worth of rain fell in 48 hours over the weekend. Subsequent flooding has left thousands evacuated from their homes. Sadly, four people have now died during the storm.

More than 400 properties have been flooded by Storm Dennis. John Curtin, executive director of flood and coastal risk management, tweeted that 420 were flooded and 18,500 protected, but said both figures were 'likely to rise'. He noted that 800 properties were flooded by Storm Ciara.

George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, blamed the 'nature of climate change' for the scale of the damage and said the Government will 'never be able to protect every single household' from flooding.

Photo credit: OLI SCARFF - Getty Images

Plan ahead

Further wet and windy weather is expected to come this week and further severe weather warnings are in force for some of the worst hit areas.

Andy Page, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: 'Further rain will arrive on Wednesday evening and this is likely to become prolonged and possibly heavy over areas of high ground. For example, there is a chance that 60mm of rain could fall in parts of south Wales over 24 hours. With the ground already saturated there is a chance of further flooding, members of the public should check their flood risk and stay up to date with flood warnings from Natural Resources Wales, SEPA, NI Direct and the Environment Agency.'

Toby Willison, Executive Director of Operations at the Environment Agency, reminds households to plan ahead.

'With the effects of climate change, we are seeing more frequent periods of extreme weather,' he explains. 'It is important for people to be aware of their flood risk and stay safe by signing up for flood warnings, making a flood plan and remembering not to drive or walk through flood water – it’s not worth the risk.'

Photo credit: OLI SCARFF - Getty Images


• Monitor current flood warnings

• Sign up for free flood warnings

• Find out what to do in a flood

• Read the government's documents and guidelines on how to prepare for a flood.

Claiming Insurance

'Storm Dennis wreaked havoc across the UK on the weekend, and while the immediate priority is to stay safe and, where necessary, find alternative accommodation, many will soon having to deal with making a claim on their car and home insurance,’ says Lee Griffin, founder, and CEO at GoCompare.


'If your vehicle has suffered flood damage, call your insurer as soon as you can and follow their advice on what to do next. You’ll need a fully comprehensive policy to be able to claim for flood damage and even then, you’ll need to check your terms and conditions to see if you’re covered,’ says Lee.

Where flood damage is included, it will typically cover repairs to your car, including your stereo, upholstery, and carpets. Other belongings in the car might also be covered. If they’re not, you should check your home insurance policy – they could be part of your personal possessions cover.

But Lee warns: 'If your car is submerged in floodwater, don’t try to start it. Drain the water if you can and allow the vehicle to dry out as much as possible.’

Photo credit: OLI SCARFF - Getty Images


'If you’ve been a victim of flood damage in your home before you do anything, make sure that everyone's safe, then call your insurer on its 24-hour helpline. Even if you’ve been forced to evacuate, make sure you leave everything as it is because your insurer needs to agree to pay for any repairs you make before they’re made unless of course, they’re emergency fixes.'

Lee suggests taking as many photos as possible of the damage. 'It’s also a good idea to gather evidence by taking photos and getting professional reports on the damage,' he says. 'This will help when consulting a loss assessor, as they’ll be able to tell you and your insurer the extent of the damage and the repairs needed.'

Photo credit: OLI SCARFF - Getty Images

What might not be covered

Remember, home insurance policies don’t all have the same cover, so things like alternative accommodation, escape of water from within the home, fences, hedges and gates will be treated differently by each insurer in a flood claim.

It's important to check the exclusions on your policy and your insurer will be able to give you details on this.

'For car insurance, unfortunately, you won’t find flood damage cover on a third party, fire, and theft policy, so it’s important for people with this level of cover to contact their insurer to check what’s advised,' explains Lee.

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