Severn Trent and Environment Agency’s advice for customers ahead of Storm Ciaran 

1st November 2023

As the UK braces itself for Storm Ciaran, Severn Trent and the Environment Agency (EA) are asking customers to familiarise themselves with who to call should they experience any problems due to bad weather conditions. 

Met Office weather warnings have been issued as more strong winds and heavy rain is expected, and comes after the region is still dealing with the aftermath of last week’s storm.

While Severn Trent’s operational teams are gearing up for the wet weather, it also wants sure its customers can quickly get the correct support by signposting people to the right organisations and sharing valuable flood information.

During last week’s wet weather the company found that some customers were calling to report all types of flooding, potentially delaying them getting the help they need from the right organisation.

Oliver Hills, Waste Network Customer Lead said: “We know that Storm Babet had a huge impact right across the region and with the imminent arrival of Storm Ciaran, we want to make sure that everyone is as prepared as possible on who to contact should they need it. 

“During Storm Babet, we had some calls reporting river flooding, flooded roads, or the blocked drains on the side of the road, and while we’d love to help, it’s actually Environment Agency or local council who it needs reporting to.  We’re here to help if flooding is from a public sewer of if a pipe has burst.

“But while we hope Storm Ciaran doesn’t have as much impact across our communities, we know that any kind of flooding is distressing so we really want people to be familiar on who’s best to call so they can get the help they need quickly, and from the right organisation.”

  • For flooding on roads, small rivers and streams - you should contact your local council to report flooding on roads or blocked drains or grates on highways. They will also help you with groundwater surface flooding, as well as flooding in streams, brooks and small rivers. 
  • For major river flooding - The Environment Agency will be able to help you if you are at risk of flooding due to rising river levels. You can find more information and contact details on their website. Their Floodline number is 0345 988 1188. 
  • For sewer flooding or flooding due to burst pipes - If the flooding is coming from the public sewer you will need to contact us. If the flooding is due to heavy rain, we may need to wait for the flood water to subside before we can investigate. You should also contact your insurer so they can give you help and advice. 

Ben Lukey, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing any blocking debris from screens and watercourses, operating flood defence assets where required, working with partners and present in those communities that have experienced flooding, looking to minimise the impact on residents.

“We urge people to stay safe on the coast and to remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades. Flooding of low-lying coastal roads is also possible and people must avoid driving through flood water, as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

“People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at and follow @EnvAgency on X, formerly known as Twitter, for the latest flood updates.”

Oliver continues: “In some cases, extreme weather – such as exceptionally high levels of rainfall in a short space of time - can overwhelm the waste network and cause sewer flooding. If there is sewage escaping from a manhole cover in the garden or outside your home, this is an absolute priority for us to help you, so please call us on 0800 783 4444 and we’ll get a team out to help as quickly as possible. If you’re concerned about flooding from drains and gullies in the road, you should call your local council as they are responsible for road drainage, but again, we generally find that the flooding will go away when it stops raining. If the flooding is coming from a river or stream, get in touch with the Environment Agency who will be best placed to help.” 

Call volumes into Severn Trent can be higher than usual in stormy weather and customers may have to wait longer than usual for a response, so following the advice above or visiting our website could help and save time. 

Severn Trent also offers a webchat service online via the website and you can contact us on Twitter via @stwater.