Surrey continues to be badly affected by flooding, predominantly in areas along the Thames. The whole county has come together to support the rescue, relief and flood prevention efforts, with in the region of 600 staff from all agencies working around the clock to protect homes, businesses and communities.
Further rain and high winds are expected at the weekend, with significant work underway to put in additional flood barriers to areas most at risk should flood levels raise further. This is a precautionary measure as the current predictions are for water levels to continue to fluctuate.
Work is currently underway to install a temporary flood barrier in Chertsey which will serve to protect around 150-200 homes. The flood barriers being installed are carefully assessed so as not to impact the probability of flooding for other homes.
With the expected high winds and water logged ground the public is warned to be aware of the potential for fallen trees and power lines. These should be reported and power lines should not be approached.
Drivers are being advised to take extra care when parking their vehicles in flood hit areas.
Motorists are urged to park in designated parking spaces as agencies are finding that abandoned or badly parked vehicles are causing problems to the flood response operation, including blocking access which is causing delays.
To help reduce the number of vehicles being inappropriately parked in the affected areas, Elmbridge Borough Council, Runnymede Borough Council and Spelthorne Borough Council have opened some car parks up for residents who live at flooded locations to use free of charge. Details as follows:
Elmbridge Borough Council:
The car parking charges in Ashley Road, Thames Ditton car park are suspended until further notice.
Runnymede Borough Council:
Car parking charges for all car parks in Runnymede have been suspended until Sunday 23 February (some are free of charge):
- Addlestone – Crockford Park (Free anyway)
- Chertsey Library – (Some flooding in one corner, but open at present)
- Egham – Hummer Road
- Addlestone – Garfield Rd
- Egham – Waspe Farm
- Englefield Green – St Judes Road
- Englefield Green – Victoria St
- Egham – Pooley Green (nearly full)
- Virginia Water – Bourne
- Virginia Water – Memorial Gardens
- Thorpe Green open space (Free anyway)
- Chertsey – Beomonds
- Egham – Coopers Hill Lane (Free anyway)
- Ottershaw – Murray Road
Spelthorne Borough Council:
All car parks owned by Spelthorne Council will be free of charge until Wednesday 19 February.
The following car parks are CLOSED today due to flooding:
- Bridge Street
- Elmsleigh Road
- Riverside surface and underground
- Tothill MSCP
- The Broadway, Laleham
- Thameside, Laleham
- Laleham Park, Laleham
Police are also urging motorists not to attempt to drive through roads which have been closed due to flooding.
A number of people have come forward over recent days offering to volunteer their help. Anyone wishing to volunteer is asked to go to their local district or borough council while anyone offering the services of their 4×4 vehicle are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Operational update Feb 13th:
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.
- Approximately 1,000 homes in the Surrey area have been flooded
- More than 3,000 homes in high risk areas have now been visited to issue flood warnings and advice on evacuation procedures and further house to house visits are continuing to other at risk properties.
- 135 homes were evacuated overnight by Surrey Fire and Rescue
- Around 850 people in total have been evacuated from affected areas in Surrey
- To date, over 45,000 sandbags have been distributed by agencies across the county, 20,000 sandbags worth of sand was delivered overnight and is currently being bagged up. 6,850 sandbags have already been given to affected boroughs today with more to follow. A further 10,000 prefilled sandbags are due to be delivered in the next 24 hours.
- 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
- 130 dedicated officers and staff from Surrey and Sussex Police continue to work on the flooding response at any one time, however all agencies are acting as extra eyes and ears to help deter criminals. There have been no reported burglaries of flooded / evacuated properties to date.
- 53 on-going road closures remain in place across the county with 60 roads in total affected by flooding so please check travel update for the latest information.
- Rest centres remain open or on standby.
Over 360 military personnel from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh and elements from both 19 and 47 Regiment Royal Artillery are currently assisting the multi-agency relief efforts across Surrey.
Key military taskings over the last 24 hours have included the completion of a sandbag wall to help defend Desborough Island, deploying a flood barrier at Chertsey Bridge Road and the ongoing assessment and protection of Critical National Infrastructure assets. In addition the Army has been involved in assisting and evacuating vulnerable residents in the area.
Following consultation with the relevant agencies, plans are currently being put in place to increase the number of military personnel available to assist with the response to the floods.
Chief Superintendent Matt Twist, of Surrey Police, said: “Having all agencies out in force and working together not only is helping with the flooding response but has also meant that we haven’t had any reports of burglary to homes affected by flooding. We will be continuing the foot, car and boat patrols and using cameras to identify any suspicious cars in the areas to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep homes and businesses safe from criminals.”
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 visiting flood 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 continue to urge 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.
The Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Surrey Police, Borough Councils, Surrey Search and Rescue, 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 water.