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flooded parkland in Kent, with flood waters submerging trees up to the leaf levelIf you or your neighbours are in immediate danger from flooding call the Emergency Services on 999.

Around five million people in two million properties live in flood risk areas in England and Wales - are you one of them?

Flooding and drainage

There can be several causes for flooding and the type of flooding that occurs will determine which organisation will best be able to help you.

The table below identifies all sources of flooding and which organisation to contact.

Please note when contacting Ashford Borough Council (ABC), all calls will go through to Customer Services on 01233 331111 and they will put you through to the relevant department number.

If you have a genuine out of hours emergency, please call us on 01233 629911.

Who to contact in the event of flooding
Issue Organisation Contact number
Main Rivers Environment Agency General Enquiries
03708 506 506
(Mon - Fri 08:00-18:00)

0345 988 1188
(24 hrs)
Flood water running off a public highway Kent County Council Highways 03000 41 81 81
(Mon - Fri 08:00-17:00)

03000 41 41 41
Ditches, ponds and land drainage. (Field running off or flowing from neighbours land) Kent County Council
Land Drainage
03000 41 71 71
(Mon - Fri 08:00-18:00)

03000 41 41 41
Neighbour problems - domestic or agricultural Kent County Council
Land Drainage
03000 41 71 71
(Mon - Fri 08:00-18:00)

03000 41 41 41
Foul or surface water sewers (water coming out of a manhole cover) Southern Water 0330 303 0368
(24 hrs)
Water Leaks South East Water 0333 000 0365
(24 hrs)
Water running from ABC housing land / council tenants (garage blocks and open spaces) Ashford Borough Council
Housing Services
01233 33 11 11
(Mon - Fri 08.30 - 16:00)
Water running from ABC park land, open space or play area Ashford Borough Council
Street Scene and Open Spaces
01233 33 11 11
(Mon - Fri 08.30 - 16:00)
ABC Corporate Property (buildings owned by ABC) Ashford Borough Council
Property Services<
01233 33 11 11
(Mon - Fri 08.30 - 16:00)
ABC owned drainage infrastructure which is not covered by any of the above Ashford Borough Council
01233 33 11 11
(Mon - Fri 08.30 - 16:00)

To summarise, Kent County Council (KCC) are generally responsible for ordinary watercourses as Lead Local Flood Authority but this responsibility is shared with the Internal Drainage Board (IDB).

For flooding that is the responsibility of Kent Highways Service, there is also an option to report flooding and drainage problems to KCC. This can also be used for reporting surface water flooding, which is caused by heavy rainfall which can potentially flood property.

In general, Ashford Borough Council is only responsible for flooding if the water is running off land, a drain or ditch owned by us and is having a direct effect on an adjacent property.

If you require general advice on any surface water drainage issue, you can also email severeweather@ashford.gov.uk.

Be prepared - general flooding advice

With climate change causing more extreme weather and sea level rise, flooding is a growing concern for those living in the Kent area. We all have a responsibility to make ourselves aware of the flood risks we may face and to protect ourselves, our properties and our businesses from flooding, as well as undertaking any maintenance that may be required.

Even if you don't live in a flood risk area, surface water flooding can happen when there is very heavy rainfall and/or problems with water mains or sewers. Thinking ahead and planning for what could happen makes common sense. This is why the Environment Agency and other public bodies work closely together, through the Kent Resilience Forum, to make sure arrangements are in place to deal quickly and efficiently with a major flooding incident.

The better prepared you are, the better you'll cope with the effects of flooding. We recommend that if you live in a known flood risk area, you should adopt a self-help approach and prepare in advance, and respond to forecasts or flood warnings. A good starting point is to visit Kent Prepared.

General advice on preparing for flooding can also be found in the flooding section of the GOV.UK website.

In addition, Public Health England in partnership with the Environment Agency has produced a leaflet entitled 'Flooding: advice for the public' as well as the following checklist:

  • Keep a list of useful numbers to hand e.g. Ashford Borough Council (01233 331111), the emergency services, your insurance company and Floodline (0345 988 11 88)
  • Have a few sandbags and some plastic sheeting prepared to block doorways and airbricks, or install proprietary flood defence systems
  • Make a flood kit, including a torch, blankets, waterproof clothing, wellingtons, portable radio, first aid kit, rubber gloves and key personal documents. Keep it upstairs if possible
  • Talk about possible flooding with your family or those you live with. Consider writing a flood plan and store these notes with your flood kit
  • Make sure you know where to turn off your gas and electricity
  • What about your pets? Where will you move them to if a flood is on the way?
  • Think about your car. Where could you move it to in the event of a Flood Warning?
  • Get into the habit of storing valuable or sentimental personal belongings upstairs or in a high place downstairs
  • Think about medication. In the event of flooding, you'll still need to take it with you

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency (EA) plays a vital role in warning people about the risk of flooding and reducing the likelihood of flooding from rivers.

Flooding is one of Ashford's biggest risks due to the several rivers that run into the Ashford area.

There are currently over 3,000 properties within Ashford Borough Council area that are in the floodplain.

Is your home at risk of flooding?

To discover if your home is at risk, please use the Environment Agency flood map and type in your post code area where shown.

If you discover your home is in a flood risk area, you can sign up to the Environment Agency Flood Warnings Direct Service, which will let you know directly when flood alerts and warnings are in place for your area. You can also call the Environment Agency Floodline direct on 0345 988 11 88.

Flood damage awareness

The EA have also launched a campaign to help increase public awareness of the damage floods can cause. To find out more, please visit 'Floods Destroy. Be Prepared' by GOV.UK.

The Environment Agency has more flooding information: how you can prepare, what action to take, what current flood warnings are in place, how to manage flood risk in your area and much more.

Water companies

If you have any immediate concerns for main sewer flooding (foul and surface water), please contact Southern Water on 0845 278 0845 or email customerservices@southernwater.co.uk.

Water supply can also be affected during times of flooding and South East Water have produced a section on their website of frequently asked questions regarding water supply.

Further information and advice on water issues such as burst water mains or leaks caused by flooding can also be found at:

Power cuts

Power cuts are common during flooding emergencies. If you need extra support during a power cut or know someone else that would need extra care, please see loss of power for more details on how UK Power Networks can help you.

Public Health England

Public Health England in partnership with the Environment Agency have produced a useful leaflet to download with information on planning for a flood, recovery and tops tips for staying safe during a flood.

Download Public Health England - flooding advice for the public leaflet [pdf] 1.54MB

Affected by flooding?

If you have been affected by flooding or are immediately concerned about your property flooding, please read our help and advice on flood support.

If you run a business, please see business continuity for help and advice on how to prepare your business for flooding.

Contact us

If you have any queries or require further information on this webpage, please contact Emergency Planning on 01233 330271 or email emergency.planning@ashford.gov.uk

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