If you are in immediate danger due to hazardous weather please call 999.

Around 5.2 million people in England and Wales, about one in six properties, is at risk from flooding. More than half of those at significant risk of flooding are not aware of this.

Sign up for flood warnings to find out if your home or business is at risk of flooding, or see if you're at risk now.

What these warnings will tell you:-

What is means

When it’s used

What to do

Flood alert

Flooding is possible.
 Be prepared.


Two hours to two days in advance of flooding


  • Prepare a flood kit of essential items
  • Monitor local water levels and the flood forecast on the Environment Agency website or by calling 0845 988 1188

Flood warning

Flooding is expected. Immediate action



Half an hour to one day in advance of flooding

  • Move family, pets and valuables to a safe place
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if safe to do so
  • Put flood protection equipment in place

Severe flood warning

Severe flooding. Danger to life.


When flooding poses a significant threat to life


  • Stay in a safe place with a means of escape
  • Be ready should you need to evacuate your home
  • Co-operate with the emergency services
  • Call 999 if you are in immediate danger


Emergency contacts

  • Lancashire Police: call 999 if there is an immediate risk to life call the police. Use 101 if it is not an emergency.
  • Environment Agency Floodline: 0345 988 1188 to report a flood or if your property is at risk of flooding from a reservoir, river or coastal water.
  • United Utilities: 0345 6723 723 if flooding is from sewers or burst water mains.
  • Lancashire County Council: 0300 123 6780 if flooding is from highway drainage, surface water, groundwater or watercourses. Lancashire County Council is also the Lead Local Flood Authority and can be contacted on 0300 123 6780.
  • Lancashire County Council: 0300 123 6780 for advice on local rest centres, road closures and vulnerable people.
  • Power cuts: call 105 to report a power cut or get updates when your electricity has been cut off. You can find more flooding advice from Electricity Northwest and their priority services register for customers who may need extra support during a power cut

South Ribble Borough Council also operates an emergency contact number. We will do everything we reasonably can to assist the above organisations and respond to requests for help from affected residents, although our resources are limited and we would have to prioritise.

Call us on 01772 421491 Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.15pm and 8.30am to 4.45pm on Fridays or out of hours on 01772 625499

Flood risk areas

Surface water flooding occurs when water cannot drain away. This can occur anywhere when there is heavy rainfall, especially where drains and gullies cannot cope with the amounts of water.

Within South Ribble, the Environment Agency has identified seven areas where properties and businesses might be at risk of flooding from the Rivers Ribble, Darwen and Lostock. These are:

  • River Darwen at Higher Walton
  • River Ribble at Walton-Le-Dale
  • River Ribble at Salmesbury
  • Ribble Estuary Tidal Breach at Hutton & Longton (Hutton Marsh)
  • Ribble Estuary at Lower Penwortham
  • Lostock and Yarrow Catchment
  • Leyland Flash Flood Area (limited warnings available)


A number of homes and businesses in South Ribble were affected by the flooding on Boxing Day 2015. We aim to keep you informed about what is happening and provide you with helpful advice, so please keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

It is important to remember at a time of flooding that the council might not be able to respond to requests from residents or reach properties before flooding occurs. The council does not have a policy of providing sandbags for residents and has no statutory duty to do so. It is the responsibility of property owners to protect their property from flooding.

If you know you are at risk of flooding you should make preparations now to assist you in the event of flooding. You should consider purchasing appropriate flood prevention equipment for your home or commercial premises.

Ensure you have adequate insurance for your needs. If you are unsure you can obtain advice from the National Flood Forum

Consider writing a flood plan or making yourself a grab bag of essential items and think about moving personal or valuable items to a safer location or storing them higher up.

You should also consider buying appropriate flood prevention equipment for your home or commercial premises. If you need more information on the types of products available you can obtain advice from the National Flood Forum or by calling 01299 403055

Generally, sandbags are of limited value unless used in conjunction with plastic sheeting. Advice on how to use sandbags 

If you know sandbags will assist you, you can buy them and sand from a builder’s merchant to enable early preparation.


Lancashire County Council

Flood advisory service

Register for flood alerts

Help during flooding

Report a cause of flooding

Preparing for flooding

Home flood insurance

United Utilities get 'winter wise'

Sewer flooding

How to use sandbangs

Met Office severe weather warnings


Twitter - follow the hashtags #LancsAlert and #FloodAware