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Flooding risk to continue for at least another week
Communities in the south, south west and central parts of England continue to be at risk of flooding over the coming days, with severe flood warnings remaining in force along the River Thames, for the Severn at Gloucester and on the Somerset Levels.
Windsor, Maidenhead, parts of Surrey and communities in Buckinghamshire, West Berkshire and Reading are at risk from the River Thames, which has reached its highest levels for over 60 years in some places. Significant flooding is expected.
Ongoing flooding could continue to affect homes business and land for at least another week. Severe gales, large waves and high sea levels are expected to bring a high risk of coastal flooding to parts of the Dorset coast, particularly in Christchurch, Chiswell and Preston beach this evening and tomorrow morning. The south coast from Cornwall to East Sussex is also at increased risk.
What we are doing
We are deploying further demountable defences today across the Thames Valley, including at Chertsey in Surrey, to protect up to 200 homes and at Staines in Berkshire, to protect around 150 homes. To support the ongoing response to the extreme weather and extended flooding, additional temporary flood defences are arriving from Sweden and the Netherlands to ensure as many communities as possible are protected.
Our teams continue to be out in force 24/7 repairing damaged coastal defences, deploying sandbags along riverbanks, clearing river blockages, monitoring water levels and sending out flood warnings. Environment Agency staff from across the country have been sent to provide support in affected areas.
In Somerset extra high volume pumps delivered from Holland this week are working to further reduce the water on the Levels. When working at full capacity with the existing pumps already in place, they will be able to pump up to seven million tonnes of water per day – the equivalent of nearly seven Wembley Stadiums.
With further rainfall expected today and Saturday, communities in the south west of England, along the Stour and Medway in Kent and along the River Severn in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire could also face flooding. Groundwater flooding could also continue around Croydon, Hambledon, Basingstoke and Lower Farringdon in Hampshire
We are urging residents in at risk areas to remain vigilant and take action, where possible, to protect themselves and their properties.
Current severe flood warnings
As of 1300 on Friday 14 February we have 17 severe flood warnings in force, as well as 140 flood warnings.
Since the beginning of December, flood schemes have defended more than 1.3 million homes and businesses and protected nearly 2,500 square kilometres of farmland across England. In the same period 5,800 properties have flooded as a result of the extraordinary series of weather storms.
People should remain vigilant and take action
Paul Leinster, Chief Executive of Environment Agency, said:
“We know the distress that flooding can cause and are doing everything we can to reduce the impacts.
“As a result of the exceptional weather, the risk of flooding continues, especially along large rivers like the Thames and Severn and in Somerset. People should remain vigilant and take action where necessary. Flood water can be dirty and dangerous and people are advised not to walk, drive or play in it.
“With further rainfall today and into the weekend, river levels are expected to rise again.
“Environment Agency teams are working round the clock to help protect homes, businesses and communities. By clearing blockages from rivers, and deploying temporary defences we have helped to protect homes which may otherwise have seen flooding.
“I urge the public to sign up to our receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk, and keep up to date with the latest situation on the Environment Agency website and on social media using #floodaware.”