Types of Flooding

The most common types of flooding are:

  • Coastal flooding
  • River flooding
  • Flash flooding
  • Groundwater flooding
  • Sewer flooding

The Environment Agency and the ESCP are primarily concerned with coastal flooding. For more information on other types of flooding please contact your Local Authority or the Environment Agency.

Coastal flooding often occurs where adverse weather has an effect on the level of the tide.  A deep low pressure weather system and its associated strong winds can cause a tidal surge (an increase in the normal tide level).

If such a system coincides with an already high astronomical tide the UK coast can be vulnerable to the sea breaching coastal defences. It was this type of event which led to the devastating North Sea floods in 1953, where over 300 people lost their lives in East Anglia, and 1,800 in the Netherlands. Even if the tide does not breach defences, the wind-driven spray can often cause significant problems in the areas immediately adjoining the shore.

For more information on reducing the threats of flooding and coastal change please visit the Inside Government website using the related links section of this page.

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