More flood alerts after the wettest January on record

Flood alerts have been issued along a 15 mile stretch of the River Thames - with warnings that the river could overtop its banks.

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PHE: Wash hands to avoid flood water contamination

Flood water covers part of the Somerset Levels near Burrowbridge. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

People in flooded areas have "nothing to panic about" from contaminated water if they keep washing their hands Public Health England (PHE) says.

Debbie Stark, a consultant with Public Health England's Devon, Cornwall and Somerset Centre, said: "Advice has been given regularly to local people about minimising any health risk.

"This includes avoiding contact with flood water, washing hands and food preparation surfaces and not eating food that has touched flood water."


Latest flood alerts for London

Credit: Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has issued a number of flood alerts as the rain continues:

The tidal River Crane at Twickenham

Tidal Thames riverside from Putney Bridge to Teddington Weir

River Thames at Trowlock Island

River Thames at Thames Ditton Island

Find a full list of all areas under flood alert in the country here.


Heavy rainfall raising threat of flooding in the South East

Today, tomorrow and into the weekend we are expecting heavy rainfall which will continue to raise the threat of flooding to communities in the south east.

We are monitoring the situation very closely as river and groundwater levels across the South East remain high and responsive, and standing water remains in some flood plains. As high spring tides are also forecast over the weekend we will be keeping a close eye on the developing situation around the coast.

Environment Agency teams remain out on the ground around the clock operating pumping stations, issuing flood warnings and checking that flood banks, walls and barriers are working effectively. We urge communities to prepare in advance by signing up for free flood warnings and to take action if they receive one.

– Environment Agency

South East sees its sixth wettest winter since 1910

Latest figures from the Met Office show the South East has had the sixth wettest winter since 1910, and the wettest weather since 1995, when 369.7mm of rainfall was recorded. The wettest winter on record was in 1915 with 437.1mm of rainfall.

Plane seen sitting in flood water at Redhill in December Credit: Press Association

In a statement, the Met Office said: "For the UK as a whole, 164.6 mm of rain has fallen so far this month, 35% above the long-term average, with all nations having above average rainfall.

"We have seen quite a contrast from south to north across the UK, with northern Scotland having received 85% of its long-term average rainfall so far this month, a sharp contrast to the 200% over southern England."

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