More rain expected for the South

Roads flooded at Pingewood near Reading Photo: ITV Meridian

0 0 1 879 5013 ITV 41 11 5881 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-GB JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}There are currently 25 flood warnings and 64 flood alertsin force across the South and South East.

The situation isimproving slightly in some areas, such as upper Oxfordshire,where the Environment Agency (EA) said it expected to remove several alerts later today as levels drop, but there has been a lot of rain and river levels could rise again.

The EA said the River Thames was responding tothe recent heavy rainfall and, as the smaller tributaries fed in, levelscontinued to rise slowly. The Thames Barrier was closed this morning to keep theincoming tide out of the London stretch of the river, reducing the flood riskfrom the river further upstream. It will re-open at 3pm today.

Environment Agency teams have been out acrossthe region throughout the Christmas period. Teams have been clearing drainage channels andensuring flood defences are working.

Demountable flood barriershave been set up on Osney Island in Oxford. Teams have also been out in Purleypumping water from Winteringham Way to reduce the flood risk to the area. Boatowners are also being urged to check their boats are moored securely where itis safe to do so.

Further rain will fall onto ground that isalready saturated and rivers that are already swollen, increasing the riskof flooding. The EA has urged membersof the public to plan their travels carefully. Motorists are being warned notto attempt to drive through flood water.

The Jubilee River is in operation to protectproperties in Windsor and Maidenhead. It is an artificiallymade flood relief channel which diverts flood wateraway from the River Thames. When running at full capacity, the scheme willprotect 3,300 properties in the area.

There are currently 19 flood warningsin force for stretches along the River Thames between Buscot andSurrey. Flood warnings are also in force for the River Churn, River Coln,River Cherwell, River Thame and the River Loddon. The latest updates can befound on the Environment Agency’s website.

Groundwater levels are high in partsof Hampshire and Berkshire, and rising in places, so any furtherrainfall will be carefully monitored.

We are closely monitoring the situation across the South East as river levels continue to rise, particularly on the Thames. Our staff have been working throughout the Christmas holidays and will continue to do so around the clock over the next few days to monitor the situation.

We are working to minimise any possible risk of flooding and warning residents to take action now and reduce the risks and impacts.

We have further showers expected today and tomorrow, and river levels will continue to respond to these.

Our teams have been working to prepare and to make sure our professional partners are prepared. We have officers out checking flood defences and clearing any river blockages. We are receiving regular updates from the Met Office, and will continuously monitor both river levels and tidal conditions.

Now is a good time for anyone who lives in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the precautions they can take to protect their properties, and I would encourage everybody to check their flood risk at the Environment Agency website and keep up to date on warnings."

– Peter Quarmby, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager