One of the biggest concerns expressed by those considering moving to Hayling Island is often the risk of flooding. During the 1970’s and 1980’s winter floods were a common occurrence on the South Eastern peninsula of the island. Today the flood risk is greatly reduced and serious flooding is rare, however as an island the risk never disappears entirely.
Why flooding happens
When Hayling Island floods it is not the same as the devastating floods that make the news in other parts of the country when rivers burst their banks. The risk of flooding on Hayling comes when high tides, low pressure and onshore winds combine to form surges that overtop our coastal defences. This type of flooding is usually easier to predict and thankfully tends to be shorter lived as water drains away again once the high tides subside a few hours later.
How frequent are flood events?
People in the higher risk properties on the Island who have signed up for the flood alert service generally receive 2 or 3 warnings per year. Thankfully though these do not usually result in flood events.
Actual flood events (where water covers entire roads) are now probably once or twice a decade occurrences, and property damage is thankfully very limited. The huge majority of property owners on Hayling Island have never experienced flood damage to their homes.
Is my home at risk from flooding?
Every house near the coast is undoubtedly at some risk of flooding. However, some properties on Hayling are certainly at greater risk. The best indication comes from the Environment Agency flood maps. If you are considering buying a property on Hayling also talk to the neighbours or ask a question here on The Hayling Site to get first-hand experience.
Even areas that are shown as ‘at risk’ on the flood maps shouldn’t expect to find themselves underwater on a regular basis. Areas expected to flood as infrequently as once every 200 years are marked as at risk and many residents of ‘risk areas’ have yet to see flooding in their lifetime.
More information about understanding the risks is provided on the Environment Agency website.
Will if affect my insurance?
You should not expect to pay a flood risk premium just because your property is on Hayling Island. Some properties will however will be a greater risk and be subject to higher premiums. This risk seems to be interpreted very differently from one insurance company to the next. If your premium is inflated due to risk of flooding then it is more important than ever to shop around for quotes.
How can I reduce the risk to my property?
Being aware of when the flood risk increases allows you to take sensible precautions. Both the Met Office and The Environment agency provide useful alert services that will inform you when warnings are in effect.
Other flood advice and help
Hampshire County Council also provide flood advice and information on their website.