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Flood Advice

What to do in the event of a flood

For information about an ongoing or potential flooding incident in the Leeds City Council district area please check @LeedsEmergency and @LeedsCC_news​ twitter feeds, or call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 (24-hour service). Typetalk (for people hard of hearing) 0345 602 6340.

Also check BBC Radio Leeds on FM 92.4 and 95.3 Mhz, MW 774 kHz and DAB or Radio Aire on FM 96.3MHz and DAB. For travel news see the BBC Leeds traffic and travel news website.

Key contacts for reporting flooding in Leeds

  • If there is an immediate risk to life or you are trapped by floodwater please call the emergency services on 999.
  • Contact Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Water or the Environment Agency Floodline to report flooding from roads, water mains, public drains, sewers or rivers
  • If you are unsure which agency to contact please ring Leeds City Council for advice and support. You can contact us on 0113 222 4407 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
  • In an emergency or outside of these hours call 0113 376 0499
  • You can also use the Report flooding form

Flooding on roads, blocked public drains or gullies

  • If you see flooding on the highway please tell us about it using the Report flooding form or by calling us on 0113 222 4407 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
  • In an emergency or outside of these hours call 0113 376 0499
  • Blocked drains and gullies can be reported to Leeds City Council on the drains and gullies page

Public and Private sewers, drains, and flooding in your home

Report a blocked sewer or sewage flooding to Yorkshire Water. Flooding in your home is the responsibility of the homeowner or occupier. This includes private sewers and drains and flooded cellars. Yorkshire Water or drainage contractors will fix the damage for a fee. If there are any health concerns following a flooding incident you can call Leeds City Council's Environmental Health on 0113 222 4406 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. In an emergency or outside of these hours call 0113 376 0499.

Flooding from a burst water main

Report flooding from a burst water main to Yorkshire Water.

Flooding from a main river

Call the Environment Agency Floodline 0845 988 1188 (24-hour service) or Typetalk (for people hard of hearing) 0345 602 6340 to report flooding from a main river.

Flooding from other rivers

Call Leeds City Council on 0113 222 4407 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. In an emergency or outside of these hours call 0113 376 0499. You can also use the Report flooding form.

Flooding from groundwater

Call Leeds City Council on 0113 222 4407 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. In an emergency or outside of these hours call 0113 376 0499. You can also use the Report flooding form.

Floodwater run off

Floodwater run off from ordinary watercourses and culverted (i.e. piped) watercourses, run off from higher land and waterlogged gardens is the responsibility of individual land owners. However, for advice and support you can call Leeds City Council's Flood Risk Management Team on 0113 378 7304 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. In an emergency or outside of these hours call 0113 376 0499. You can also use the Report flooding form.​​​​​​​​​​​

Click to expandAdvice for Food Businesses

​If your food business has been flooded there could be a serious risk to public health from infection and food contamination. Do not prepare any food or reopen the establishment until the premises have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The flood water may be contaminated with sewerage, harmful bacteria and other pollutants such as oil, petrol and other contamination.

For further guidance and information please see our Advice to Food Businesses document (PDF 1.2MB).​​

Click to expandGeneral tips for returning to a flood damaged home

-Take care as there may be hidden dangers in the flood water like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and contaminents

-Heating systems i.e. gas boilers, oil boilers, storage heaters etc. which have been affected by water should not be used unless checked by a relevant professional

-To avoid the threat of arson, you should be vigilant where damaged household contents are left outside the property, including damaged vehicles which should be moved away where possible to a safe distance

-If your premises are unoccupied, make sure that they are secure. If you are reoccupying the premises, make sure that your smoke alarms are working to ensure your safety

-Minimise health risks by using protective clothing (wellingtons and gloves) whilst cleaning up

-If the premises have been flooded, take care with electrics and gas. Electrical appliances must be checked by a competent electrician BEFORE they are switched on. Call Northern Powergrid on 0800 375 675 or 0330 123 0675 for guidance. Gas appliances should also be inspected by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Call the National Gas Emergency Service 0800 111 999 if you have any concerns about gas leaks

-Remember that petrol or diesel generators, dehumidifiers and other fuel driven equipment e.g. camping stoves should NEVER be used indoors without adequate ventilation. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can quickly build up to poisonous levels

-Thoroughly clean all other affected hard surfaces, including walls, hard-surfaced floors and furniture with hot soapy water, using an ordinary household detergent. Allow to dry thoroughly as this will also help to destroy germs left behind

-Always wash your hands with soap and clean water after being in contact with flood water, sewage or items that have been contaminated, as well as before and after preparing food

-Don't allow children to play in floodwater areas and wash children's hands frequently (always before meals). Wash floodwater-contaminated toys with hot water or disinfect before allowing them to be used 

-Keep any open cuts or sores clean and prevent them being exposed to flood water. Wear waterproof plasters 

-If anyone does develop a stomach upset they should seek medical advice

-Don't eat any food that has been covered by or come into contact with sewage or floodwater. Do not eat any produce grown on an allotment or garden that has been flooded unless it has been cooked.  Frozen food that has defrosted should be discarded.  Food in your fridge should be thrown away if it’s not been working for a few hours. Put contaminated flood-damaged food in black plastic refuse sacks, seal and put out when your next refuse collection is due. Don't be tempted to try and salvage damaged food - including tins - as they may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals left from the floodwater ​​​

Click to expandWhat should I do if I can't get to my home?

Please try to stay with friends or family if at all possible.

If you have been made homeless due to flooding, please call Leeds Housing Options on 0113 222 4412. After 5pm please call 0113 376 0499.

Click to expandInsurance claims and what to do if you don't have insurance

Citizens Advice are available to talk you through insurance claims, and what to do if you have no insurance. For more information call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or see www.adviceguide.org.uk

Advice for those making claims include:
-Photograph everything. Take pictures of your rooms and damage to individual items
-Don't throw anything away until told (except ruined food)
-Use a permanent ink pen to mark on the wall the maximum height of the flood water. Do this in every room affected by flooding
-Carpets - most insurers will accept a photograph of carpets, but keep a square to show the type of carpet you had in each room to show the assessor
-If your insurance policy covers you for loss of perishable goods, make a list of all the foods you throw away. Include any food touched by flood water and anything in your fridge or freezer ruined by loss of power
-Depending on your policy, the insurance company may only offer to clean and repair something, not replace it. Confirm the insurance company will pay for any service or equipment you need
-Make a note of all telephone calls. Record the date, name and what was agreed. Keep copies of all letters, emails and faxes you send and receive. Keep receipts.
-In almost all cases the insurance company will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and covered by your policy
-If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible

If you do not have insurance, Citizens Advice can provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you.

Following flooding in several areas of Leeds, all householders are advised to check their home insurance policies to determine what they can claim for and the process for making claims.

Many householders will be able to claim for rehousing costs, for instance, however they may need to retain damaged furniture for assessment by a loss adjustor.

The Association of British Insurers has advisory information on flooding and how you can help to make your home flood proof.

All insurance companies will do everything they can to ensure that your claim is handled as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you feel unhappy about any aspect then contact your insurer. If you are unhappy about the way in which your claim is handled, you should ask your insurer how to make a formal complaint to them. If you are still unhappy at the end of your insurer’s complaints procedure, you can complain to the Independent Financial Ombudsman Service on 0800 023 4567.​​​

Click to expandLoss adjusters

You may get loss adjusters visiting properties in the area. The loss adjuster is free and if they are legitimate they will have your details and the details of your insurance company.

If you are visited by a loss assessor, loss assessors will charge and it is up to the householder to decide whether or not they require their services at this time. For more information contact West Yorkshire Trading Standards 03454 04 05 06 or see www.ts.wyjs.org.uk

Click to expandGetting rid of flood damaged items

Residents can use any of Leeds’ Recycling sites to dispose of flood damaged items and will be able to dispose of these items using vans/trailers without a permit. This will only apply to people disposing of items that are clearly flood damaged until further notice.

Businesses will be able to take flood damaged commercial items/stock to Kirkstall and Seacroft recycling sites ONLY. This is because vehicles will need to use weighbridges (as per the normal arrangement). However, those disposing of items that are clearly flood damaged, will not be charged for using the weighbridge.

REMINDER: Due to refurbishment, Kirkstall recycling site is currently only open to business and trade customers.

If using a private contractor you should check it is a licensed waste carrier, see www.gov.uk/findregistered-waste-carrier. 

Click to expandAdvice for getting building repairs after flooding

West Yorkshire Trading Standards is issuing the following advice to help householders avoid being ripped off by rogue builders who may be cold calling in the county:

-If you have buildings insurance, contact your insurance provider prior to any work commencing and then follow their advice.

-If you don’t have insurance, we strongly advise that you only deal with reputable local traders. 

-Rogue traders and builders may cold-call to your home and will often use clever tactics to get you to agree to having work carried out.

-If you or someone you know requires assistance in dealing with a rogue trader you can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. If your case requires urgent assistance they will refer your details immediately to West Yorkshire Trading Standards or West Yorkshire Police on 101. ​

For more assistance and information on local tradesmen contact Leeds Chamber of Trade or your local Age Concern office who may be able to provide a list of reputable handymen.

Click to expandSandbags

Residents and business owners are responsible for protecting their own property and should, therefore, make their own arrangements in advance of a flooding incident. Sandbags can be purchased from builders merchants and other vendors. Details can be found via simple internet searches for suppliers in the area.

There is no statutory duty for local authorities to provide sandbags, nor to prevent a property from flooding.

Leeds City Council resources are deployed to where they are needed most in a flooding incident. This includes providing assistance to help protect vulnerable people and public premises. Leeds City Council's sandbag policy (PDF 1MB) explains ​who will be prioritised and when requests will not be considered. The policy will be used when requests for sandbags are made.

Efforts to distribute sandbags during an incident can often be hampered by the weather conditions. We, therefore, advise residents in flood risk areas to make their own sandbag provisions prior to an incident, or look into other property flood protection systems, rather than rely on the council to provide sandbags during a flood.

To enquire about sandbags please call 0113 222 4407 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or 0113 376 0499 at any other time.

You can also use the Request a sandbag form.​​​​

Youtube link to How to sandbag your property video

Click to expandSafety advice during a flood

In the event of a flooding incident, advice will be provided on the homepage of this website. You can also check the the @LeedsEmergency​ and @LeedsCC_News Twitter accounts. Advice can also be found on the government flooding website​.

Alternatively call the Environment Agency's floodline on 0345 988 1188 for advice.

Check BBC Radio Leeds on FM 92.4 and 95.3 MHz, MW 774 kHz and DAB or Radio Aire on FM 96.3MHz and DAB.

Call 999 if your safety is at risk. ​

Safety advice if you stay in your home during a flood
Move yourself, your family, important items and documents upstairs.

Turn off the electric and water supplies in your house if safe to do so.

Avoid contact with flood water, it is likely to be contaminated or contain sewage.

Safety Advice if you leave your home during a flood
Do not attempt to walk or drive through floodwater, only leave your property if it safe to do so.

Turn off the electric and water supplies in your house if safe to do so.

What if I have nowhere to go?
If you need to evacuate your property because of flooding or any other emergency event and do not have any family or friends who live locally, Leeds City Council are responsible for finding an immediate place of safety (for up to 24 hours).

Please call us on 0113 222 4412 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or  0113 376 0499 at any other time and we will advise you about temporary accommodation arrangements. ​​​​​​

Click to expandPreparing for flooding

Important steps residents can take include:
-signing up to Flood Alerts via the Environment Agency
-completing Household and Community Flood Action Plans
-pre-purchasing Flood Prevention Systems or Sandbags
Youtube link to Floods Destroy: Think don't sink video​

Youtube link to Community Flood Plans video

Sign up for flood warnings

Household and community flood plans

Click to expandAffordable Insurance for properties at risk of flooding

Flood Re is the national scheme designed to help provide better access to affordable home insurance for those in high flood-risk areas across the UK. It represents a long-term, sustainable approach to providing home insurance for those at flood risk. 

How Flood Re works (opens as a PDF)

It is important that people living in a high flood-risk area shop around for the best insurance policy. 

A list of participating insurers is available at: www.floodre.co.uk
There is also a video available to watch.

Click to expandLeeds City Council emergency flood plans

In major flood incidents, the priorities of the Council and its partners are:
- to provide material and technical support to the emergency services and Environment Agency in their immediate responses
- to provide welfare support for people evacuated or stranded in homes
- to co-ordinate a recovery process to help smooth a return to normality

We have developed a number of emergency plans for flooding. There is a generic Flooding Plan suitable for all types of flooding, but other plans have been developed with partners to address specific known flood risks such as the River Aire in Central Leeds, and the River Wharfe at Otley.

The Council is working with community groups to develop local flooding plans which can be implemented quickly by local residents to address flooding when it happens, rather than after emergency responders arrive.

More information on the longer term Flood Risk Management Strategy can be found using the link below. 

Leeds is home to two reservoirs that have been identified to require specific contingency planning in case of inundation. Advice to residents who live near Yeadon Tarn or Waterloo Lake (Roundhay Park) can be found in the documents section on this page.

More general information regarding flooding and preparing for emergencies in Leeds can be found in the Emergency Planning Information Brochure in the documents section.

Flood Risk Management Strategy

Click to expandLeeds Flood Alleviation Scheme

Details of the flood defence scheme taking place along the River Aire can be found using the link below.​

Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme

Click to expandFlood Risk Management

​Leeds City Council approves Leeds Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. We are the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Leeds under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

The Leeds district has around 1,000km of watercourses. We maintain council owned watercourses, clear grilles of debris at hotspots, advise on flood risk, design flood alleviation works, inspect and maintain council owned pumping stations and carry out reservoir inspections. Through the planning process we mitigate flood risk due to the impact of development and we work closely with partners during flood events. We endeavour to be a centre of excellence for drainage and flooding issues.

Follow the link below to find out more about our responsibilities.​

Flood Risk Management

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