Although serious flooding events are rare, the council still needs to be prepared to respond to the risk of flooding at all times. Our drainage team is responsible for investigating any flooding in Portsmouth, and works to prevent future flood events by improving drainage throughout the city.

If there is risk to life or serious risk to property or the environment as a result of flooding, call 999.

See below for advice on how to prepare for a flood, and what to do during and after one. There is also more detailed information on the types of flooding that occur and our flood protection policies available for download.

What you can do 

We suggest all residents living in flood zones register for flood alerts and complete a flood plan. The plan collects together essential information you will need in the unlikely event you are flooded. This will help you make the right decisions before and after a flood. For example, Portsmouth City Council do not supply sandbags, so you will need to buy them from your local DIY store. The Environment Agency also offer useful advice in the flood section of their website.

If you would like any help with your flood plan please contact us, or phone the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Surface water flooding 

The council's Surface Water Management Plan identifies and prioritises the areas of Portsmouth at greatest risk from surface water flooding, defined as heavy rainfall creating more water than the drainage system can cope with. Most flooding in Portsmouth is caused by surface water which, by its very nature, is very difficult to predict. This makes providing accurate and timely warnings difficult.

Drains in the gutters at the side of the road, known as gullies, can overflow in times of heavy rainfall. Gullies may not appear to be coping with heavy rainfall, but do allow some time for water to subside and then, if the drainage does not improve, let the City Helpdesk know on 023 9283 4092.

Burst water mains 

Portsmouth Water supplies water to the city, and is responsible for all pipework up to and including the stopcock. To report a burst water main, phone Portsmouth Water on 0800 434 6104. Use the Portsmouth Water online form to report smaller leaks.

Coastal flooding 

Portsmouth may be susceptible to coastal flooding, but it is relatively easy to predict. If your home or business is at risk of flooding, you should register for flood alerts. These can be recieved by phone, email or text message. The service is free.

When the Environment Agency warns of tidal flood, the council deploys floodgates and flood boards in Old Portsmouth. Follow the link for more information on the council's approach to coastal flooding. Portsmouth City Council is also a member of the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership. also manages the risk of floods and coastal change.

Flood protection policies 

Portsmouth City Council's overall aim is to reduce the risks to people and property from flooding. When drawing up plans or considering applications for development, we try to direct development to sites at lower risk of flooding. To be able to do this, we need to know as much as possible about the flooding risks in the city.  All our assessments and reports, along with relevant annexes and maps, can be found here.