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On-line Flood Map is updated

Online Flood Maps have been updated with information now available on areas across the north that may be affected by flooding from rivers, sea and now rainfall.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Strategic Flood Map also gives helpful information on the location of flood defences already in place to reduce risk and is intended to increase awareness among the general public, local authorities, utilities and other organisations about the risk of flooding. This is to enable them to be better prepared to take appropriate action to reduce the impact of flooding.

Announcing the changes to the Strategic Flood Map, the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Flooding can cause major damage and disruption and by providing information we can all better manage flood risk. I see the Strategic Flood Map as an essential tool as it enables everyone to understand the risk they face.

“Using the information available and by working together, the public and other responsible bodies, such as my Rivers Agency, can help reduce the impact of flooding on people, property and the natural environment. The updated on-line information will also allow people living or working in areas at flood risk from rivers, sea and heavy rainfall to take necessary precautions now and in the future.”

Commenting on the usefulness of the new surface water flood information from the land use planning perspective, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “I welcome the continuous improvements in the information relating to flood risk and also the joint guidance on the application of the Surface Water Flood Map. This will enhance the planning system and is a good example of joined-up government.”

The new easy-to-navigate on-line Flood Maps are colour coded and contain five distinct map layers with information on historical flood events, predictive illustrations of present day flood risk from rivers, coastal and surface water, as well as the location of flood defences.

The Strategic Flood Map can be accessed via the Rivers Agency website. For those who do not have access to the internet, maps of particular areas can be made available on request to Rivers Agency on 0845 3044 505.

Notes to editors:

  1. Rivers Agency, an Executive Agency within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development developed the Strategic Flood Map in co-operation with members of the Floods Directive Steering Group including the DoE Planning, Roads Service and NI Water.
  2. The main purpose of the multi-layered Strategic Flood Map is to highlight areas throughout across the north that may be at risk of flooding from rivers, the sea and surface water.
  3. Visitors to the Rivers Agency web site can enter the name of a town or postcode, and a colour coded map shows the flood risk. The map contains five distinct map layers:

    The historical flood map layer depicts the outlines of known areas that have been inundated by flood water from rivers and the sea in the past.

    The present day flood map layers providing an illustration of the predictive river flood plains, coastal inundations and surface water.

    The climate change layer provides an illustration of the predictive river flood plains and coastal inundations for the year 2030.

    The flood defence map layer identifies the location of flood defences such as embankments and flood walls and shows the areas which benefit from these defences.
  4. The map will be reviewed and updated as new information becomes available. While the map provides a general overview of the areas at risk of flooding it is not intended to provide a definitive assessment of flood risk to individual properties or specific point locations and does not replace the need for detailed investigations at a local level.
  5. The information provided is for personal use and is currently not available for commercial use.
  6. The maps support government Departments and Agencies involved in planning and water management and in particular facilitate and support Planning Policy PPS 15 which adopts a precautionary approach to the development and land use by seeking to avoid inappropriate development in flood risk areas.
  7. The publication of the map does not alter the level of risk in an area. By making this information freely available, businesses and the general public can be better prepared, by taking appropriate steps to reduce the impact of flooding.
  8. DARD’s policy document ‘Living with Rivers and the Sea’ is available on the Rivers Agency website.
  9. All media queries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email: pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.