The new year has brought the same challenges to West Sussex’s rural countryside, and top of that list are the numerous and growing flood events.


At the beginning of January, prolonged rainfall led to multiple floods across the county. For example, The River Arun flooded into surrounding farmland resulting in road disruptions on the A272 running from Billingshurst to Wisborough Green. This area has also flooded in mid-February and caused major disruptions to the road over a small, one-way bridge. 


The first image shows the results of severe rainfall between the 2nd and 6th of January 2024, whereas the second image was taken on the 9th of February 2024. Neither images were taken during classified storms which suggest that this flooding will be more severe during future extreme weather events. 


Despite the fact that this specific area has not been constructed on, due to its high flood risk, major disruptions are still occurring during heavy rainfall periods. This is due to the single file bridge with a major road connecting to Billingshurst. Multiple small businesses struggle when this road is frequently flooded as employees and customers are inaccessible. The Davies School of Dance and The Bat and Ball pub are both impacted by staff journey’s being interrupted. One employee at The Bat and Ball stated that they found the disruptions to their journey “incredibly frustrating” and that they urged for “more action to be taken to reduce the future risk”. 


So, will there ever be any action taken? Currently, despite the annoyance for local people, it does not seem so, as it is likely that the floods will reduce during spring.