Richmondshire District Council

Advice after flooding

This page provides further advice on what to do if you've been affected by flooding.

Electricity and gas

  • If your electricity meter has been submerged in water call your supplier.
  • Switch off all appliances if they are likely to have been affected by water.
  • Have all appliances and internal wiring checked by an approved electrical contractor.
  • If you can smell gas call National Grid Gas on 0800 111 999 immediately.
  • Check flue and ventilation systems - which are essential for normal operation - they may have been affected.
  • Call the Appliance Helpline on 0800 371 782.
  • LPG users should contact their local supplier.

Rubbish disposal

Any bulky household possessions and furnishings which cannot be saved and need disposing of will be dealt with by your insurance company. Do not put rubbish out on to the pavement or highways.

You can get rid of white goods at the household waste recycling centres. Check first with your insurer before you throw out anything you are making an insurance claim on.

For details of mobile recycling centres check the NYCC website.

General clean up advice

  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Please be alert to rogue traders offering to undertake work or remove your goods and check all ID carefully.
  • Record details of damage with photographs and video footage where possible.
  • Assemble equipment and supplies: gloves, masks and other protective gear; buckets, mops and plastic rubbish sacks; household bleach and detergent (never mix bleach with ammonia as the fumes are toxic); large containers for soaking bedding and clothing and lines to hang them to dry.
  • You may need to hire extension cables, submersible pumps, wet/dry vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers or space heaters.
  • Store valuable papers that have been damaged in a freezer until you have time to work on them.
  • Remove all soft furnishings and fittings that are damaged beyond repair.
  • Don't forget space under the ground floor if you have wooden flooring, it may need pumping out.
  • Wash down all hard surfaces with hot soapy water.
  • Use a domestic disinfectant to wash over all hard surfaces after cleaning.
  • Clothing, bedding and soft or fabric items should be laundered at the highest possible temperature (as indicated on manufacturer's instructions). Other soft furnishings that have been contaminated and cannot be put in a washing machine will need to be professionally cleaned or disposed of.
  • Don't wash down flood damaged goods and be tempted to reuse them. If you handle items contaminated by flood water we advise you use gloves or wash your hands regularly - particularly before eating.
  • Food preparation surfaces and storage cupboards, refrigerators, etc, should have a final wash down with food safe disinfectant.
  • Dispose of all food - tins and packets - that have been affected affected by floodwater.
  • Allow all cleansed areas to dry thoroughly. Heating and ventilation will help this process.
  • Keep all sandbags issued to you in case of future emergencies. The Council will not be collecting them.


Floodwater and sewage often leaves a muddy deposit that may contain bacteria and other micro-organisms. However please do not be too concerned as any risk to health is very small. You do not need any booster immunisations or antibiotics. If you do feel unwell please contact your GP and tell them your home was flooded.

Health risks can be reduced by taking general hygiene precautions. Wash hands before eating and preparing food, use protective clothing – wellies and gloves - and protect cuts with waterproof plasters.

Water and sewage

  • Any taps which have been submerged in contaminated floodwater should be cleaned using bleach solution and run for 30 seconds prior to the water being used.
  • Water quality is unlikely to have been affected so there is no need to boil water.
  • Householders with their own private water supply should boil water if the well or spring has been covered by floodwater, if the water changes colour or taste, or if their supply has been affected by flooding. Continue to boil water until the supply has been tested. Check the Drinking Water Inspectorate website.
  • For sewerage queries call Yorkshire Water on 0345 124 2424 or contact them through their website.
  • Do not let children play on affected gardens and play areas until they have been cleaned and restored to their normal condition.
  • Do not eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been affected by floodwater. It is better to dispose of any contaminated produce.


Call 0800 800 150 to report faults to BT. Please only report a fault once.

Roads and bridges

For details on roads check North Yorkshire County Council's (NYCC) website.

Useful contacts

  • Richmondshire District Council - tel: 01748 901016 or email; housing team tel: 01748 901150
  • Environment Agency Floodline - tel: 0345 988 1188
  • North Yorkshire County Council - tel: 01609 780780
  • Yorkshire Water - tel: 0345 124 2424
  • Gas leaks - tel: 0800 111 999
  • Gas appliance repair helpline - tel: 0800 371 782
  • Electricity - Northern Power Grid - tel: 0800 668 877 or 0800 375 675
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