The multi-agency response to flooding in Surrey continues today (Friday, 14 February) with further temporary flood defences being put in place in Staines and Chertsey to help protect residents in affected areas.
Further rain and high winds are expected at the weekend, with significant work underway to put in additional flood barriers in parts of Chertsey and Staines which will serve to protect more than 300 homes.
This is a precautionary measure as the current predictions are for water levels to continue to fluctuate and the barriers are being carefully assessed so as not to impact the probability of flooding for other homes.
All agencies are carrying out further detailed planning to ensure that Surrey is fully prepared for poor weather continuing into next week.
Dedicated teams from 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, are working closely to keep people safe and protect properties and the local infrastructure against the impact of rising floodwater.
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 around 600 staff from all agencies working around the clock to protect homes, businesses and communities.
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.
Operational update Feb 14th:
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.
- More than 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.
- 940 homes affected by the flooding have been evacuated in total so far by Surrey Fire and Rescue since Sunday, 9 February.
- To date, more than 51,000 sandbags have been distributed by agencies across the county, with an additional 20,000 sandbags per day being distributed between now and the middle of next week.
- Boats from Fire and Rescue, police and the military are continuing to be 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.
Assistant Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, of Surrey Police, said: “Police remain out in force working together with the fire service and the military to help with the flooding response.
“We continue to carry out foot, car and boat patrols and use cameras to identify any suspicious vehicles in flooded areas to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep homes and businesses safe. To date, we haven’t had any reports of burglary to homes affected by flooding.
“The communities affected have shown great resolve in coming together in extremely difficult circumstances and I would like to thank everyone who has been volunteering their time and efforts to help. Next week is half-term and I am urging parents to just remind their children of the dangers of deep or fast flowing open water and urge them not to go into flooded areas.
“We still have around 130 dedicated officers and staff assisting evacuations, helping to install flood defences, and protecting evacuated homes and we are working on contingency plans to ensure we can maintain this level of resource over the days and weeks to come.”
The Environment Agency:
Rivers are very high across the South East, including in Surrey, with flood alerts and warnings in force. If you receive a flood warning it means that flooding is expected and you need to take action. We have teams out across the region maintaining defences, clearing trash screens and keeping rivers flowing. Flood water is dangerous, and there are steps you can take to keep yourself and those around you safe.
- Keep children and vulnerable people out of floodwater.
- Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it can carry raw sewage, dangerous chemicals and disease.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood water – six inches can knock you off your feet, and just a foot of flowing water can move a car.
- Don’t walk on sea defences or along flooded riverbanks.
- Take care or avoid crossing bridges when water levels are high.
- Take care crossing culverts as they are dangerous when flooded.
- And look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
For more information on flood warnings and alerts in your area visit: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood
And to sign up to flood warnings call Floodline on: 0345 988 1188 / 0845 988 1188.
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.
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: email@example.com.
Runnymede Borough Council:
We are continuing to provide sandbags to those most and risk and vulnerable
Rest Centre is open Woodham and New Haw Centre, Amis Avenue, New Haw, KT15 3ET tel: 01932 355707. It was closed overnight and may do over the weekend if there is no need for it, but staff but not had confirmation on this yet.
Car parking charges for all car parks in Runnymede have been suspended until Sunday, 23 February.
Car parks in Runnymede some are free of charge:
- Addlestone Crockford Park FREE anyway
- Chertsey Library Parts flooded
- Egham Hummer Road Parts flooded
- Addlestone Garfield Rd OK
- Egham Waspe Farm OK
- Englefield Green St Judes Road OK
- Englefield Green Victoria St OK
- Egham Pooley Green OK
- Virginia Water Bourne OK
- Virginia Water Memorial Gdns OK
- Thorpe Green open space FREE anyway
- Chertsey Beomonds OK
- Egham Coopers Hill Lane FREE anyway
- Ottershaw Murray Road OK
Donations for food (non perishable) and other items to be sent to the Salvation Army in Church Road Addlestone who have the space to store the donations.
Anyone wanting to volunteer to help can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01932 425620 if they can provide details of what sort of help they can provide would be helpful.
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 recently completed have included the completion of a sandbag wall to help defend Desborough Island, deploying a flood barrier at Chertsey Bridge Road and the on-going 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.
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.