Councils leaders have warned of the dangers of flash floods to drivers and pedestrians, as well as home and business owners.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, advised people never try to walk or drive during flash floods.
Don't drive through flash floods, councils say
The LGA pointed out that it only takes 15cm of fast-flowing water to knock an adult over and 60cm to sweep away a 4x4 car or small lorry.
The councils’ body has also warned home owners and businesses at risk from flash flooding to be prepared, including regularly checking forecasts, knowing how to turn off gas, electricity and water, and having a contingency plan for moving essential items upstairs quickly.
Cllr Peter Box, LGA environment spokesman, said: ‘Flash floods can bring devastation to communities within a matter of minutes, causing enormous disruption to families and businesses.
‘Councils up and down the country have been doing everything they can to prepare for heavy rainfalls this week by launching awareness campaigns to highlight the dangers.
‘They are also working closely with emergency services, such as the police and firefighters, to minimise disruption to residents and businesses and help protect communities.’
Earlier this month, a major incident was declared in Cheshire, after flash floods hit and cars were submerged as torrential rain hit south London.
Last month the LGA called on the Government to introduce a range of new building regulations including ensuring that electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring are raised above floor level.
It also called for new flood defence funding to be devolved to local areas, ‘with councils working with communities and businesses to ensure money is directed towards projects that best reflect local needs’.