UK Floods Hit Home Counties

Areas of England’s South West are still struggling with floods, but the weekend saw flooding move further east to  wide areas of England’s home counties – the counties of South East England and the East of England that surround London.

The River Thames Flood Threat
Further flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency for these counties. Many of the warnings are as a result of rising levels of the River Thames, and affect areas from Berkshire to Surrey. More rain is expected this week, with river and ground water levels already very high.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We have had the wettest January since the 1700s and the ground is absolutely saturated. This has exacerbated the conditions. The River Thames is rising in response to that huge amount of rainfall, and we are seeing that impact now.

“It could well rise further. Because of the Thames’ huge length, it’s a slow responding river so it takes a while for the tributaries to filter down into the Thames, which could days or even weeks.”

floods thames

Many roads across the south of England have been affected by flooding over the weekend and early today, Monday 10 February 2014.

On Saturday flooding closed parts of the M25 in Buckinghamshire, and link roads from the M40 onto the M25 clockwise were also closed after flood waters from nearby fields spilled out onto the road.
Railway companies First Great Western, CrossCountry, and South West Trains, are all reporting major delays on routes.

The Daily Telegraph today has reported that the flooding across the south of England will cost insurance companies around £630 million. The estimate was made by Mohammed Khan, insurance partner at PwC, with the proviso that the figure could well rise further, given the severe weather warnings for this week.

A young boy died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after being overcome by fumes from the water pump that was being used to remove flood water from his family home in Chertsey, Surrey. The parents of the boy were also affected by the fumes and taken to hospital.

Military on Stand By
Over the weekend the Ministry of Defence put around 1,500 personnel on stand by to help with flood evacuations, rescues and erecting flood defences if required. Some army personnel have already been helping with the situation in the flood-stricken Somerset Levels.

Flood Incidents in England over the Weekend 8 to 9 February 2014

below are some of the reported flood incidents that occurred over the weekend of Saturday 8 February to Sunday 9 February. There is also a list of flood incidents from earlier, in our report here.

Over the weekend floding was reported in Leatherhead. But also in areas of Surrey closer to London, including the Croydon area and Purely, where firefighters pumped water into a pedestrian underpass in order to save 400 homes in Kenley and Whyteleafe from being flooded.

Reports of flooding in Reading, Wokingham, Caversham and Sonning.

Flooding and a landslip blocked the rail route to Exeter

Floods were reported in Bewdley, where the town’s bridge was closed. Worcester and the district of Wyre Forest have also been affected by rising levels of the River Severn.

Various roads in and around Bournemouth and Poole were flooded from nearby rivers overflowing.

Firefighters in Herefordshire were needed to rescue a total of six people in 4 separate incidents after they were trapped in their cars by flood water in Leintwardine, Orleton and Walford.

Some central areas of Oxford, including Abingdon Road, were once again under water.
Oxfordshire County Council said it had distributed more than 2,000 sandbags after floods were expected in Chalgrove, Henley, Playhatch, South Moreton, Wantage, Watlington, Burcott and Postcombe.

Roads around the busy towns of Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds were badly flooded causing traffic problems. Seven people had to be rescued from their cars after they were trapped in flood waters.

Finchingfield and Steeple Bumpstead were still flooded over the weekend.

Flooding was reported in Dacorum, Three Rivers district, Watford, St Albans, Hertsmere and Welwyn Hatfield over the weekend.

Current Flood Warnings for England and Wales