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How the floods are affecting the region today

David Cameron under pressure on Environment Agency cuts

The Prime Minister was challenged about Environment Agency cuts first on ITV Meridian Credit: Robin Britton

The ITV Meridian region is enduring the worst series of winter storms in more than 20 years, weather experts have said, as the country prepares for even more flooding.

Coastal areas - particularly in southern England - are most at risk as they cope with a combination of unusually high tides and another Atlantic storm today. The PM was questioned about cuts at the Environment Agency on ITV Meridian earlier this week.

When questioned about the Environment Agency's ability to fund flood defences on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Cameron replied: " We're spending £2.3 billion in this four-year period on flood defences which is more than the previous four-year period.

"We have also enabled them to access other sources of money - partnership funding - so I think we're going to see record levels of spending on flood defences and we have guaranteed that right out into 2020 so they can really plan for the future.

Mr Cameron went on: "Huge sympathy to anyone who has had their house flooded. Anyone who has had a house or an office flooded knows it is absolutely dreadful.

"I think the community response has been incredible. I saw for myself how people come together and help and the emergency services have done an absolutely great job.


Evacuated residents can't return home until next week

Video. High winds and rain continue to batter the region, with flood warnings remaining in place in parts of the South. At Iford Bridge Home Park in Dorset, around 100 residents were evacuated from their homes, next to the River Stour.

They have now been told they won't be able to return home, until next week at the earliest.

Juliette Fletcher spoke to resident Martin Sadler, Councillor Lawrence Williams from Bournemouth Borough Council and Chris Bainger from the Environment Agency.

Rain and winds set to return tomorrow

A list from the Environment Agency detailing areas with a low risk of flooding Credit: Evironment Agency

The Met Office has issued another severe weather warning for tomorrow after the region has just recovered from the turbulent conditions earlier this week.

They predict that gale-force winds up to 70mph will hit southern England and will disrupt transport across the region.

Heavy rain is expected in the morning, with further wind and rain arriving on Tuesday.

Environment Agency reveal flooding risks for upcoming days

A map detailing the counties at risk of flooding Credit: Environment Agency

The Environment Agency have published a list of counties who are at risk of flooding, with Kent and Medway the only counties at medium risk across the UK today.

According to the list, tomorrow and Sunday only holds a low risk of flooding for counties around the UK.

Today there are low risks for: Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, West Sussex, Dorset and Wiltshire.

Tomorrow the only counties in our region at low risk of flooding are: Kent, Medway, Dorset and Wiltshire.

Dorset and Wiltshire also remain on the list for risk of flooding on Sunday.

Warning: Worst floods for 60 years could hit Kent

Parts of Kent could be hit by the worst floods seen in the county for 60 years overnight. That's the warning tonight from the Environment Agency.

The most severe warning possible - danger to life - has been issued for Sandwich near Deal. Gravesend, Medway and Seasalter are also at high risk of serious flooding. In all, between 1,500 and 2,000 coastal and riverside homes are said to be in danger.

A number of factors are combining to cause concern. High winds are coinciding with high spring tides causing a prolonged surge down the east coast and into the Channel.

The high risk times are just before 1 o'cock in the morning - the area most at risk is The Quay at Sandwich, where the Environment Agency says flood defences are likely to be breached. Sarah Saunders reports.


Fish crime crackdown to protect Solent salmon

A triple hook used to catch the fish Credit: Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is launching a new project to protect Salmon stocks in the Solent.

The Salmon Watch campaign is part of the Environment Agency's ongoing crackdown against fish theft and illegal angling.

Rivers in Hampshire are world famous for their salmon populations but surveys on the River Test and Itchen show that numbers are well below their conservation target.

A speargun is one of the methods used to illegally catch salmon fish Credit: Environment Agency

Since a previous anti-poaching campaign in 2012, Environment Agency Fisheries Officers have arrested or cautioned five poachers who were caught fishing illegally as a direct result of reports received from the public.

Fears of tragedy during warm weather

The Environment Agency says lives are at risk Credit: PA

The sunshine in parts of the region is good news - not just for sailors - but for those enjoying a day out on the beach or in the country. But it's also brought a note of caution from the Environment Agency

It's warning of the dangers of jumping into rivers to cool off and comes a year after a teenager died when he leapt from Donnington Bridge in Oxford. Officials say there could be unseen hazards.

Thames Water fined over sewage leak

Thames Water has been fined more than £27,000 for causing the pollution of a river in Surrey

The incident saw a pipe burst in a field behind Walton Lane sewage pumping station in Weybridge and flooded the field with sewage, which then entered the Engine River.

The company admitted the offence at Staines Magistrates Court on Friday May, 24.

The company was fined £18,000, ordered to pay costs of £9,764.15 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Thames Water was advised by the Environment Agency to contain the spilt sewage with sandbags and removal of sludge from the top of the river.

However, the court heard how Thames Water did not make enough effort to contain the pollution and affecting over 1.2 kilometres of the river.

Rivers and water courses are an important part of the environment; they offer an essential resource for wildlife, fisheries and recreation. It is distressing when incidents such as this one occur and cause fairly significant environmental damage, with several hundred fish killed by this sewage spill.

The prosecution and fining of Thames Water sends a clear message to other companies that if you fail in your environmental responsibilities you may be prosecuted.

– Marie De Viell, Environment Agency Solicitor
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