You may have noticed that we have had a very lengthy dry spell and I suspect we are overdue for some really serious rainfall. Saturday’s shower saw some drains overwhelmed in the Hemel Hempstead area. I noticed one place near the railway station where there was quite a fountain coming back up.

So, please, when you are home or at your place of work today, take photos of all of the drains nearby. I guarantee that they will all be clogged up. Send pictures to the Highways Dept of whichever County Council area you live in and request urgent maintenance.

Almost certainly, they won’t do anything – they don’t have the funds or the equipment – but, when you get flooded by surface water, you can claim on your insurance and they will have grounds to claim back from the County Council.

A couple of years ago, we started dealing with a major flood claim for a client who lives near the bottom of a fairly gentle hill. A severe storm overnight overwhelmed the drains and the house and garage were both flooded, damaging some very expensive parquet flooring as well as house contents. Luckily, a neighbour had previously complained to the County Council about the poor state of the drains so that established a good case to be made for reimbursement.