Trouble on the Thames

River Thames at Pangbourne. Picturesque, but currently at risk of flooding. Photo Ray Turner.

With reasonable weather forecast for the next few days, the Environment Agency is still warning of the possibility of flooding in the South East of England, as river levels continue to rise after the recent rainfall.

At the time of writing, there are 41 Flood Alerts and 22 Flood Warnings in the South East region, none of them currently affecting Eastleigh. It is the river Thames that is currently of greatest concern to the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency report that;

Although the rain has eased off, and has stopped in some parts of the South East, the risk of flooding is still real. Rivers are still responding to the heavy rain of the past week. After several days of heavy rain the ground is saturated and flood water from small watercourses is flowing into larger rivers like the Thames. River levels will continue to rise in the foreseeable future before they start to go down. 

The Environment Agency is carefully monitoring the levels in these rivers and will issue flood warnings if necessary.

  Peter Quarmby, Environment Agency flood risk manager, added:

“River levels continue to rise on the Thames in response to the recent heavy rainfall and will remain high for the rest of the week. Everyone living near a watercourse needs to be vigilant, but people living adjacent to the River Thames in particular need to know the risk and be prepared.

“Our staff continue to work round the clock to manage the incident, to monitor river levels and to warn people should further flooding be expected.

“I continue to urge people to check the Environment Agency website for the latest flooding situation and to sign up to receive direct flood warnings. Residents and business owners who may be at risk need to act now to limit the damage a flood can cause to themselves and to their property.”

Nigel Wilson, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s Operations and Resilience Manager, said:

“Drivers are strongly advised to heed warning signs regarding flooding and drive in a manner appropriate to the conditions. Failure to heed these warnings puts drivers and passengers at the risk of being trapped in their vehicle and any disturbance of the flood water from a passing vehicle increases the damage to surrounding properties.”

Floodline Warnings Direct sends messages directly to those signed up when flooding from rivers is possible in the areas where they live.

Those in flood risk areas should sign up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning system,  by calling 0845 988 1188 or visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.

The Environment Agency updates its flood guidance every 15 minutes on its website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx.

You can follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgencySE

Met Office weather forecasts and warnings can be found at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

You can follow the Met Office on Twitter at @metoffice and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/metoffice

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site.