Thu 26 Oct 2017 by Frances Traynor
Households across England and Wales have been warned to prepare for more severe weather and a higher risk of flooding. The coastal village of Coverack, in Cornwall, was struck by flash floods in July after a summer storm left the village in chaos. Several residents were airlifted to safety by helicopter as homes and belongings were left ruined.
The Met Office issued a yellow warning of more heavy rainfall in the wake of the Coverack flood that could cause similar localised flooding and affecting homes, businesses and roads.
Now the Met Office is warning of an increased risk of what it calls "unprecedented" winter downpours similar to those that caused major floods in 2014 and causing billions of pounds of damage. Its research points to a one in three chance of record monthly rainfalls in at least one region of the UK every winter.
The 2013-14 floods were caused by a succession of storms battering the UK with similar events in December 2015 that affected the north-west in particular.
The British weather has always been notoriously unpredictable – hence the popularity of the expression "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes". However, weather patterns have noticeably changed on a global scale in recent years. While rainfall is consistently above average, this year also saw the warmest June since 1910.
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Professor Adam Scaife is leading the research at the Met Office into extreme rainfall, using an innovative research method using a climate model to extrapolate future events from the past. He said: "The new Met Office supercomputer was used to stimulate thousands of possible winters, some of them much more extreme than we've yet witnessed. This gave many more extreme events than have happened in the real world, helping us to work out how severe things could get."
The Met Office analysis showed that there is now a 7 percent risk of record monthly rainfall in the south-east of England; including other regions of England increases that risk to 34 percent.
While there is nothing any of us can do to stop the rain from falling, house hunters can do something to help minimise their risk of buying in areas most at risk of flooding. A Residential Flood Search, carried out by your solicitor as part of the conveyancing process, will provide extensive information about surface water, ground water and other flood risks.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders insists that any property purchased by a mortgage must be covered by standard buildings insurance, which includes flood cover. If insurance cannot be obtained because of flood risk, the mortgage is unlikely to be granted. That makes it even more imperative that the buyer is fully informed of any potential flood risk.
When you instruct a conveyancing solicitor through Homeward Legal, you can be confident the appropriate searches to your transaction are carried out. And for peace of mind, you can ask in advance for full details of all the searches your solicitor or conveyancer will instruct to be carried out.
Call Homeward Legal on 0800 038 6699 for more information or get a no-obligation quote instantly.
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