News for Tool Hire, Equipment Hire & Plant Hire and Rental Professionals

Ready for the flood?

6 December 2021

Ready for the flood?

To coincide with the recent Flood Action Week initiative, the Environment Agency has suggested that many people are unprepared to deal with such emergency incidents.

That would suggest a long-term need for hired equipment to deal with flooding events and their aftermath, from pumps and generators, to dehumidifiers and carpet dryers. 

Apparently, nearly two in three at-risk households don’t believe it will happen to them, meaning that as many as 1.5 million properties face potential problems. 

In addition, the Met Office has said there is an above average likelihood of winter in the UK being wetter than normal over the next three months. 

Indeed, having been battered by 90mph winds and snow from Storm Arwen a week ago, Storm Barra is set to reach Northern Ireland, parts of Scotland and northern England tomorrow with similarly strong winds and high rainfall. 

In a stark high-emissions scenario with approximately 3°C of warming by 2070, the organisation suggests that in Glasgow - where the COP26 climate summit was held - the number of days where 30mm of rain or more is recorded in an hour could be 3.5 times more likely compared with the 1990s. In London 30mm/hr could be 2.5 times more likely, a threshold which is typically used to trigger flash flood warnings. 

The Met Office adds that high-resolution climate models show the likelihood of more, slower-moving storms, which can lead to high rainfall accumulations, with high rainfall rates sustained over several hours. One reason for this is that warmer air can hold more moisture. 

For the UK, five of the 10 wettest years on record have happened since 2000. And those flood events don’t just happen in the winter months, meaning that this is virtually a year-round opportunity that hirers should be prepared to meet. 

“It’s also important to ensure that pumps are adequate to meet the volumes of water that can be experienced,” says Gary McWilliam, managing director of The Hire Supply Company whose line-up includes a comprehensive range of pumps. 

“Flood waters can rise suddenly and rooms in houses can be inundated from virtually all angles very quickly. Water to a depth of two feet or more can appear in a matter of minutes. Pumps have to be able to cope with as much of that as possible.” 

Gary also points out that after providing a pump, hirers may also be approached for other equipment to deal with the clear-up and repair work, from dehumidifiers and heaters, to air movers and pressure washers. 

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