Monday, 24 March 2014

Buckinghamshire flood recovery update 2

Groundwater levels to stay high Even though the water levels in rivers have now dropped, the extraordinary amount of rainfall in recent months means that groundwater levels are very high, and in some areas this is continuing to cause flooding. Even without further significant rain, groundwater levels are likely to stay very high for some months, and problems may persist over this period. Bear this in mind before disposing of sandbags. For latest updates on groundwater levels, please see here. Health risks Although any harmful bugs in floodwater become very diluted and usually present a low risk, flood water can become contaminated with sewage or animal waste, so should always be treated as a health risk. Children should not be allowed to play around flood water. If you have been in contact with flood water make sure you take hygiene precautions including washing hands, and removing footwear before going indoors. Frequently asked questions on flooding and health are answered here. Click here for the previous County Council flood recovery update for information on maintaining mental wellbeing. Animals Remember that animals too can become ill through contact with contaminated water, so avoid walking dogs in flooded areas. Further information for the public and for farmers is available here. Campaign for clear ditches A new campaign called 'Working Together to Ditch the Problem' is being led by Bucks County Council cabinet member Janet Blake to encourage landowners to keep ditches and drainage on their land clear in order to reduce the risk of flooding. The campaign is being supported by the National Farmers Union and many parish councils. Financial support If you, your business, or your voluntary organisation have suffered damage due to the recent floods, you may be able to claim financial relief from your district council. The following district councils have information pages on financial relief: Aylesbury Vale DC Wycombe DC Click here for flood recovery advice from the Citizens' Advice Bureau. Specific local advice and support are also available from High Wycombe & District CAB. Click here for business recovery information from Buckinghamshire Business First.