Flood risk: Environment Agency warns communities to stay vigilant

The Environment Agency is urging communities in England to check their flood risk and sign up to flood warnings following the recent heavy rain.

By Louise Roberts
Monday, 23rd December 2019, 1:56 pm

The weather outlook is improving, however rivers continue to respond to recent rainfall meaning that an increased risk of localised river flooding remains in the south east of England, along lower parts of the River Severn and in East Riding of Yorkshire.

High groundwater levels in parts of southern England and in north Lincolnshire means there is a risk of groundwater flooding.

As of 1pm on Monday (23 December) there are 59 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – and 153 flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible - in place across the country.

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Flooding hit the Yorkshire Village of Fishlake earlier this year - Pic Copyright: Getty Images

Carol Holt, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

“While the weather outlook is improving, rivers continue to respond to recent rainfall meaning that there is a continued risk of flooding in parts of southern and central England over the next few days. We continue to monitor rainfall and river levels closely and to operate our flood defences, reducing the risk of flooding to thousands of homes and businesses.

“Environment Agency teams have put up temporary flood defences in a number of locations including Leatherhead and Canterbury. Our pumps also remain in place in Somerset where we are working to lower levels on the River Tone.

“Our crews are clearing drainage channels to keep rivers flowing and our flood information officers remain out on the ground in communities where there is a risk of flooding to help keep people safe.

“Sadly around 100 properties have flooded since Thursday, but over 18,500 properties have been protected by flood defences across England.

“We advise people to sign up for flood warnings, stay away from swollen rivers and not drive through flood water - just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

The advice to stay safe during wet weather comes as the Environment Agency and the AA published research showing that three quarters of drivers (74%) would risk driving through flood water, despite it being the leading cause of death during a flood.

You can check your flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.