River Thames Levels Threaten Floods in South East England

Levels of the River Thames are now so high that thousands of homes along the river are at risk of flooding. Hundreds of people have been evacuated already. Levels of the River Severn in Worcestershire are also high. The Environment Agency has been working with volunteers and in some cases the military, in erecting flood defences where possible.

South East England and Areas West of London
Areas to the west of London are some of the places most at threat from the River Thames flooding as the map from the Environment Agency below shows.

flood warnings
EA Flood Warnings Across South East England, 11 February 2014

Areas under Flood Alerts (the lower level) are shown in orange. Areas under Flood Warning or Severe Flood Warning (the highest level) are shown in red.

Thames Barrier
The Environment Agency said that they were preparing to close the Thames Barrier this morning from 08.00 – 13.00. We assume this is to prevent the current high flow of the Thames from meeting the incoming tide.

This is the 28th time the barrier has been closed thise year. We believe this means it has been closed once every 3 tides in 2014. That’s quite something if our facts are correct.

Below is an image by the Environment Agency of what London would look like if the barrier wasn’t closed.

london without the thames barrier

South and Wouth West England
The map shows the south and parts of south west England, where the Somerset Levels are still under Severe Flood Warnings (in red) whilst elsewhere, huge swathes of Dprset and Wiltshire are under a Flood Alert (shown in orange).

EA Flood Warnings Across South and South West England, 11 February 2014
EA Flood Warnings Across South and South West England, 11 February 2014

Meanwhile the Environment Agency is increasing pumping operations on the Somerset Levels by bringing in additional pumps hin order to maximise the amount of floodwater that can be pumped away from the Somerset Levels and Moors. The EA say:

This will include increasing the volume of floodwater that goes down the Sowy and pumping at both Beer Wall and Dunball.

Oxford, Cheltenham and Worcester
Oxford, Cheltenham and Worcester are also under threat of flooding, as the map below shows much of those cities in red, indicating a Flood Warning or Severe Flood Warning.

Oxford, Cheltenham and Worcester Flood Warnings
Oxford, Cheltenham and Worcester Flood Warnings

To get some idea of the flood situation much of England is in, see the map below.

Areas under EA Flood warnings in England and Wales, 11 February 2014
Areas under EA Flood warnings in England and Wales, 11 February 2014

Paul Leinster, Chief Executive of Environment Agency, said:

“Our hearts and sincere sympathy go out to those who have already experienced flooding. Our teams will continue to work around the clock to protect lives, homes, businesses, communities and farmland over the coming days.

“Extreme weather will continue to threaten communities this week, with further severe flooding expected Monday evening into Tuesday along the Thames in Berkshire and Surrey. River levels are high across south west, central and southern England and further rain has the potential to cause significant flooding.

“I urge the public to sign up to our receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk, and keep up to date with the latest situation on the Environment Agency website and on social media using #floodaware.’

Current Flood Warnings for England and Wales

Another Storm Ahead
More bad weather is likely to be in store for much of England as another area of low pressure looks set to move in on Wednesday 12 February 2014.

Met Office image of the possible tracks of the next storm to hit the UK
Met Office image of the possible tracks of the next storm to hit the UK