River levels still being monitored

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RIVER levels are being monitored by the Environment Agency following the band of rain which swept across the South East overnight on April 30.

Rainfall totals overnight were much less than predicted, on average around 10mm across the region, and river levels in most areas across the South East have started to drop.

There are currently 44 flood alerts in force across the region but no flood warnings.

Further rainfall is expected across the region throughout the week but not at significant levels.

Many of the current flood alerts were expected to be removed later today but Environment Agency officers will continue to monitor river levels closely and clear trash screens and river obstructions.

South East flood risk manager Peter Quarmby said: “Our teams have been out monitoring river levels, checking flood defences and removing any blockages that may increase the risk of flooding throughout the night and our Floodline Warnings Direct service has kept those affected informed.

“The rain has been most welcome for farmers and gardeners following the recent dry weather, but it will take more than a few days of heavy rainfall to undo the effects of nearly two years of below average rainfall.”

During heavy rainfall, care should be taken as driving conditions may be hazardous, and people should listen to traffic reports for advice and for any disruption locally.

The Environment Agency is in close communication with the Met Office regarding the latest weather forecasts and also local authorities and emergency services should there be any surface water flooding.

Floodline Warnings Direct sends messages directly to those signed up when flooding is possible in the areas where they live.

Warnings issued to homes and businesses by phone and text message include localised information about potential flood risk from rivers and the sea, with clearer advice on actions to take to help safeguard lives and property.

Prepare your property for flooding by buying and installing flood products in advance.

Householders and businesses can also monitor rising water levels during a potential flood at over 1,700 river and coastal locations across England and Wales online at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/riverlevels.

More than five million people in England and Wales are at risk from flooding from rivers and the sea.

Those in flood risk areas should sign up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning system by calling 0845 988 1188 or visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.