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Forecasting floods depends on the type and nature of the events which trigger them. Short periods of intense rainfall can cause flash flooding, longer periods of widespread heavy rain can cause rivers to overflow and storm surges can cause coastal flooding.
The Environment Agency, SEPA and local authorities share responsibility for providing advice and information to the public during flood emergencies and can be contacted 24 hours a day via a dedicated Floodline number.
Floodline: 0845 988 1188
Northern Ireland flooding incident line: 0300 2000 100
Travel advice produced in association with the Highways England.
Last updated: 23 April 2015
What to do in heavy rain - infographic
Find out more about what to do in severe rain in our infographic.
Rain and rainfall in the UK
Find out more about types of precipitation - including rain, snow, sleet and hail - and what causes it to fall.
What to do in severe weather
Make sure you know what to do when severe weather is forecast
Get detailed flood warning and alerts for areas at risk of flooding across the UK.
Working in partnership to help monitor and prepare for flood risks