The Environment Agency - England and Wales

Risk of flooding remains high across the south of England


The risk of flooding continues this week across the south of England as rivers respond to heavy rainfall and groundwater remains high.

As of 2pm on Tuesday there were three severe flood warnings for Dorset. Across the south of England, there are over 100 flood warnings and 200 flood alerts in place.

There is a continuing risk of flooding from groundwater in Dorset and south Wiltshire. The Environment Agency is supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of groundwater flooding. Flooding is ongoing on parts of the Somerset Levels and property flooding is possible within the next 24 hours as levels continue to rise.

Rivers in parts of the south of England are continuing to respond to recent rainfall and communities are urged to remain prepared for more flooding for the remainder of the week. River flooding is expected along the River Stour, the Hampshire Avon and the Thames, including Oxford and the lower reaches of the Thames.

Along the Thames water levels remain high and continue to rise in response to the recent rainfall. From today there is an increased flood risk in the lower stretch of the Thames. The Thames barrier has been closed for the eleventh successive high tide to protect people and property along the Thames. Temporary defences are in place in Osney, near Oxford and Purley yesterday to protect properties.

Further rainfall forecasted

The Met Office is forecasting further rainfall tonight in the southeast and Wednesday night and into Thursday in parts of south west England. Communities are urged to prepare by checking their flood risk, signing up to free flood warnings and keeping an eye on the latest flood updates via the Environment Agency website and social media.

Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses, deploying temporary defences, monitoring water levels and issuing flood warnings where necessary.

Over 220,000 propertied protected

Most recent estimates suggest that around 550 properties have flooded since the start of 2014 but over 222,000 properties have been protected by flood defences.

Paul Mustow, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency said “Environment Agency teams continue to work to work around the clock to protect communities at risk.

“The risk of flooding continues this week, with communities in the south west and south east urged to stay safe and sign up to free flood warnings. Advice for those dealing with flooding is available on the Environment Agency website, on social media @EnvAgency #floodaware and by calling floodline on 0845 988 1188.”

Natural Resources Wales, the organisation which leads on flooding in Wales, continues to update communities in Wales about flood risk.

Notes to editors

  • Flood alert - Flooding is possible. Be prepared.
  • Flood warning - Flooding is expected. Immediate action required
  • Severe flood warning - Severe flooding. Danger to life.

Severe flood warnings in Dorset covered:

Iford Bridge Home Park on the Lower River Stour in Bournemouth, along the coast at Preston Beach in the Lodmore area of Weymouth and in the Chiswell area near Portland Harbour.

For information on flood protection in Wales contact Natural Resources Wales.

Photos of the Environment Agency’s response to the recent floods can be viewed on Flickr:

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