Environment Agency prepares flood defences for more thunderstorms tonight

THE ENVIRONMENT Agency is preparing for more thunderstorms across the South East tonight (Monday April 30) following on from the heavy rainfall which affected most of country over the weekend.

More than 30 flood alerts were issued across the South East as rivers responded to rainfall of up to 40mm over the weekend in some places.

Environment Agency crews spent the weekend 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 over the weekend.

Teams are now monitoring river levels across the South East and the weather front ahead of the predicted rainfall this evening.

South East flood risk manager Peter Quarmby said: “Our teams have been working round the clock throughout the weekend to ensure our flood defences remain intact and protect people, monitoring river levels, checking and operating flood defences and removing any blockages that may increase the risk of flooding.

“Our Floodline Warnings Direct service has kept those affected informed and allowed them time to prepare if the weather worsened.

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

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 includes localised information about potential flood risk from rivers and the sea, with clearer advice on actions to take to help safeguard lives and property.

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