The Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Surrey Police, Borough Councils, South East Coast Ambulance and the wider NHS, with support from the military, continue working together to keep people safe and protect properties and the local infrastructure against the impact of rising floodwater.
Latest forecasts indicate more rain is expected and water levels will continue to fluctuate over the coming days and into next week.
Nine severe flood warnings remain in place along the Surrey stretches of the Thames and 15 flood warnings. A severe flood warning means there is a risk to life, and flood warning that flooding is expected. If you are unsure whether you are at risk of flooding please go to the Environment Agency website to check.
Operational update Feb 12th:
- Approximately 1,000 homes in the Surrey area have now been affected by floodwater
- More than 3,000 homes in high risk areas have now been visited to issue flood warnings and advice on evacuation procedures
- A further 102 homes were evacuated overnight by Surrey Fire and Rescue
- Around 600 people in total have been evacuated from affected areas in Surrey
- To date, 45,000 sandbags have been distributed by agencies across the county
- In total so far, around 700 tonnes of sand have been used to fill sandbags for distribution, with another 500 tonnes on order and contractors are continually monitoring stock levels to ensure there is enough to meet demand
- Boats from Fire and Rescue, police and the military are being used to assist in evacuations and to patrol affected areas to protect empty homes
- Surrey Police have deployed extra officers to flood affected areas to protect homes and number-plate recognition cameras have been stationed on routes in and out to deter criminal activity
- 100 dedicated officers and staff from Surrey and Sussex Police continue to work on flooding response at any one time
- 44 on-going road closures remain in place across the county with 60 roads in total affected by flooding
- Rest centres remain open or on standby
Chief Superintendent Matt Twist, of Surrey Police, said: “We understand there are real concerns about criminals taking advantage of the flooding and targeting empty properties. Extra officers have been deployed in response to this concern and additional boats from the Metropolitan Police and Sussex Police are being used to conduct patrols. We are also monitoring the roads in and out of these areas with recognition cameras as an additional measure to deter anyone considering travelling to the floods to commit crime.
“All of our partner agencies out on the ground, including other emergency services and the military, are acting as our eyes and ears to help ensure we can identify any issues and respond quickly.
“There were no reports of flooded properties being burgled overnight however we continue to monitor the situation and are determined to do everything we can to prevent any further distress to people already victims of flooding.”
Many Surrey residents and businesses have been using pumps and generators to remove flood water from their affected properties, some for many weeks.
Whilst householders and businesses are encouraged to use pumps and generators to try to keep their properties clear of flood water, we want to ensure our residents are using them safely.
The Fire Service are asking residents to take simple steps to keep safe from this hidden danger in the exhaust fumes from power generators and water pumps using petrol or diesel could be fatal if inhaled.
Carbon monoxide has no smell, taste or colour, meaning it is easily inhaled without a victim realising. It can kill you or cause lasting damage to your health, including permanent brain damage. It is likely many victims go unrecognised because the early symptoms can easily be mistaken for common illnesses such as flu or food poisoning.
During this continued flooding event, Surrey Fire and Rescue Fire Fighters are visitingflood hit areas, distributing carbon monoxide advice and CO detectors.
Only use pumps and generators in a well ventilated outdoor space, and if you are unsure about how a generator, pump or any other fuel burning appliance works, contact the manufacture to check you are running it safely.
If you are worried that you may have been the victim of CO poisoning turn off all fuel burning appliances, including boilers and cookers, open the windows and call a doctor or go to a casualty department for immediate help and advice.
Health providers are urging residents who are evacuating and currently receive nursing or social care home visits to let their care provider know their new location.
The request comes as some people who are receiving such care are leaving their homes and health providers are not being updated on where they have moved to which is making following up their care difficult.
Public Health England has regularly given advice to local people suffering flooding about minimising health risks which include serious injury from fast flowing water or hidden dangers under the water, such as missing manhole covers. Also, the stress and strain of being flooded and cleaning up can have a notable impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Take the following precautions:
- Any flood water should be regarded as potentially contaminated.
- Avoid contact with floodwater and wash your hands regularly. Seek medical advice for illness and mention the flood if you see your GP within ten days for abdominal complaints.
- Clean work surfaces before and after preparing food.
- For food safety advice after flooding, including how to make baby food without mains water, contact the Food Standards Agency.
- Do not eat food that has touched flood water and don’t eat fresh food from the fridge or freezer if your electricity has been turned off.
- Take care when using heaters to dry out affected areas: Ensure good ventilation if using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces. Do not use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors: the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which can kill
South East Coast Ambulance Service is continuing to work in partnership with police and fire service and other agencies to respond to anyone in need of medical attention and of help in the floods. Its Hazardous Area Response Teams (HARTs) have been based close to the affected areas and ambulance crews are working hard to reach people as quickly and as safely as possible.