Flooding emergencies

Emergency contacts for flooding

  • Police and Fire Service – 999 – If there is an immediate risk to life call the police (101 non-emergency number).
  • Environment Agency Floodline - 0345 988 1188 - To report a flood or if your property is at risk of flooding from a reservoir or a river.
  • United Utilities – 0345 6 723 723 - If flooding is from sewers or burst water mains.
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council – 01254 585585 – if flooding is from the Highway or a blocked gully.
  • Visit The Flood Hub website for help and advice about flooding

Regular updates on the weather

Prepare yourself against flooding

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, we are designated as a leading local flood authority. We have a duty to investigate certain flooding incidents in our area, and to decide who has responsibility for taking remedial action.

Excessive surface water and flooding of gullies, roads and properties should be reported to us.

For more information please visit the Environment Agency's flood advice pages.

Flood warnings

The Environment Agency uses flood warnings to tell us how likely it is to flood in our area. There are 3 different levels:

  • flood alert
  • flood warning
  • severe flood warning

You can sign up for free flood warnings on the GOV.UK website

For more information, please visit the Environment Agency website.

Preparing yourself and your family from floods

If you live in an area which floods from the river or from blocked drains, it is a good idea to prepare yourself for flooding. Put together a waterproof flood bag (this could be a carrier bag or bag for life) or plastic box containing:

  • torch
  • radio
  • copy of insurance documents, personal documents and photos
  • basic first aid kit
  • anti-bacterial wipes
  • spare medication and prescriptions
  • spare batteries
  • spare charger for your mobile phone

Remember, flood water is dirty, full of bacteria and will ruin anything that gets wet. Keep the box or bag in a safe place and make sure that everyone in the home knows what is in the box or bag and where it is kept.

Protecting your home

You are responsible for protecting your own property from flooding. This can mean things like buying flood boards, air brick covers, having a stock of sandbags or knowing where you can get them.

The Yellow Pages has information listed under:

  • builders merchants
  • sack and bag
  • DIY stores

Alternatively you can call The Builders Centre on 0800 529529 to find your local store. Flood boards and other flood protection products are listed in the blue pages directory compiled by the National Flood Forum.

When flooding happens

Information about what we are doing to help you will be broadcast regularly on local radio. 

Responsibility for protecting homes from floods

The property owner is responsible for protecting their property against flooding. If you are a tenant, your landlord is responsible.

You can take legal action against landowners to resolve flooding issues if required.

The Environment Agency is responsible for flooding from rivers.

Our highways department are responsible for making sure that our roads are kept free from flood water as much as we can.

We might also be able to give advice about localised flooding from ditches, pipes and culverts.


We are not legally obliged to store or provide the public with sandbags.

If your property is susceptible to flooding, you need to be prepared to protect it. There is advice and guidance on flood protection products on the National Flood Forum website

In a flood situation the emergency services, local authorities and public utility services will try to help where they can, but ultimately the responsibility to protect a property against flooding lies with the owner.