Homes 'under water' after 'three severe flooding incidents' declared in Sussex - Live updates

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Homes in West Sussex are under water after a river burst its banks – with up to 200 people rescued by the emergency services.

Storm Kathleen has sparked flooding chaos, with the River Arun bursting its banks and a holiday park near Chichester having to be evacuated and people told to get to high places in their homes. Up to 200 people who were left stranded have reportedly been rescued.

Follow live updates as they happen below.

Houses 'under water' after major flooding incidents in West Sussex: Recap

Key Events

  • West Sussex County Council confirmed 'three severe flooding incidents' across the county in Earnley, Littlehampton and Bracklesham after the River Arun burst its banks.
  • Fire crews have now left both incidents, and the situation in these two areas will be closely monitored throughout the day.
  • At around midnight, crews were alerted to the first flooding incident in Littlehampton, which primarily affected Ferry Road and Rope Walk. In total, 15 people were evacuated.
  • Shortly after 1am, crews then responded to a flooding incident at Medmerry Holiday Park, Earnley. In total around 180 people were evacuated. People have been told not to visit ‘under any circumstances’.
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service assessed and triaged a ‘number of people’ at a nearby facility, and one person – ‘showing signs of hypothermia’ – was taken to hospital.

West Sussex County Council update

Arun District Council update

“The [refuge] centre remains open at Littlehampton Wave. We are only supporting one resident at the moment though.”

Donation appeal for those who have 'lost everything'

Libby Chapman, in a post on the Littlehampton Online Community, wrote: “With the devastating news in Littlehampton and surrounding areas up to selsey Sussex SAR for Lost Dogs CIC have decided to put a request out for donations to assist those who have lost everything..Unfortunately we don't know the severity of the damage and the items lost in the flood but we do know some residents have had to relocate with their animals.. We are working with the Arun Council Emergency services and would ask for any help with the following items.. Dog/cat food DRYCat beds/blankets cat/dog collars, leads, etc. If anyone wishes to donate please do contact us for details.”

Flood warning for Medmerry

The Environment Agency has issued multiple flood warnings, including in Medmerry.

A statement read: “This Flood Warning is issued as a precaution, because of a reduction in beach condition in Bracklesham. Tuesday afternoon's tide at 12:15 on 09/04/2024 is higher than normal due to unsettled weather with strong Westerly Force 7 winds and large waves. The weather increases tide table values by 0.32 m. The total forecast tide is 5.34 metres Chart Datum (2.60 mAOD) at Chichester Harbour. For 2 hours either side of high water, the tide could again go over and through the beach near to the western side of the Medmerry embankment, with flood water affecting ditches and potentially reaching Medmerry Park Caravan Park, in Earnley. Only minor spray is expected to affect beach top properties at Medmerry. Wave heights should reduce Tuesday evening, but tide levels and flood impacts will remain similar until Friday 12/04/2024. We continue to monitor the forecast. Avoid Bracklesham and Medmerry sea front at high tide. Large waves can carry and throw shingle, take care. If you have it, please install flood protection 2 hours before high tide. We will update this message by 18:00 on 09/04/2024.”

Increase in flood insurance claims over the past year

Simply Business (, a leading insurance provider for small businesses and landlords has released analysis of over 900,000 insurance policies to uncover of a staggering 449% increase in flood insurance claims over the past year. With over 13 storms wreaking havoc across the UK, including the recent Storm Kathleen, the impact of these weather events has been unprecedented. The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology further confirms the severity of the situation, noting that the period between July and December 2023 was the wettest on record. Last year, the Environment Agency warned that around 5.5 million homes and businesses in England were at risk of flooding, warning that ‘the frequency and severity of flooding will only get worse’. In response to these predictions, Bea Montoya, UK COO at Simply Business, offers essential guidance on flood preparedness, encompassing seven key tips to help businesses and rental properties fortify themselves against floods.

  1. Check the long term flood risk for your area on You can use this service to check flood risk from rivers and the sea, surface water, reservoirs and groundwater.

  2. Keep an eye on the Met Office’s UK Weather Warnings page for any warnings in your area

  3. If there is a possible flood warning in your area make sure you have sandbags, air bricks or pumps, which are widely available and could help keep your shop or property safe.

  4. If heavy rain can sometimes cause flooding in your area, then make sure that your equipment, stock, and everything else in your premises is protected from damage - take valuable items from the floor and move them upstairs, if you can, and move your stock from the floor to higher ground too.

  5. Check the sealant around doors and windows for any cracks, as water can seep through these gaps and into your shop or property.

  6. Business buildings insurance is a key consideration for anyone who owns their own premises, but even if you don’t, it’s worth knowing that business equipment and stock can also be insured. Storms and severe weather can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, so make sure you keep receipts for everything associated with your business in case you need to make a claim.

  7. For landlords, home emergency cover can be extremely valuable if your property is hit by a storm.

'Do not attempt to visit the park under any circumstances'

'Fire crews are no longer at the scene'

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