Enivornment Agency prepares for more rain

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THE Environment Agency is continuing to monitor river levels and the weather forecast with the potential of up to 20mm of rain forecast for the South East tomorrow (Friday June 15) and into the weekend.

Staff are also working around the clock with the emergency services in flood hit communities in West Sussex following the recent extreme rainfall.

Teams are also clearing trash screens, closing flood gates, operating flood storage areas, removing debris from known hotspots and warning and informing the public about the possibility of flooding.

Currently one flood warning and 8 flood alerts are in force for rivers across the region, meaning that flooding is still possible.

There are no warnings or alerts for the rivers Ouse, Cuckmere or Uck.

Peter Quarmby, South East flood and coastal risk manager, said: “We have seen exceptional rainfall in the region over the past few days and have seen the devastating effects that flooding can cause. Our thoughts are with those who have been affected.

“We are focusing all efforts in working in areas that have been affected by flooding over the past few days to lower river levels and will continue to work alongside our emergency partners to assist flooded communities with immediate response and recovery.

“Latest forecasts indicate that heavy rainfall is again expected to cross the South East on Friday and into the weekend.

“We urge everyone to remain vigilant ahead of further rainfall tomorrow and over the weekend.

“We are monitoring the weather forecasts very closely and the possibility remains that we could issue further flood alerts in response to any significant rainfall.”

After 112mm of rainfall fell over Felpham in West Sussex in a 36 hour period at the start of the week, residents were evacuated from their homes due to surface water flooding and the Aldingbourne Rife watercourse becoming full to capacity.

Two 12 in diameter pumps are being used continuously to lower water levels in the rife and pump the water out as quickly as possible.

As a result of the round the clock pumping operation, one of the flood warnings in force on the Aldingbourne Rife at Felpham has now been downgraded.

A flood warning remains in force for the watercourse at Bersted in West Sussex as efforts continue to further reduce the water levels in the rife.