The sunny weather today (Sunday, 16 February) has resulted in an increase in ‘tourists’ coming to view the flooded areas of Surrey as the multi-agency response enters its second week.
In addition, a number of residents have complained that vehicles have been driving through flood waters at speed causing bow waves to wash into people’s properties.
Police and partner agencies are reminding people of the potential dangers of attempting to go into flood water and asking motorists to slow down if they have to drive through any standing water.
Although the weather has improved today, parts of the county continue to be badly affected and the river levels on the Thames are expected to rise again through to the middle of the week.
Around 600 staff from all agencies continue to work around the clock to protect homes, businesses and communities.
• Seven 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.
• In addition there are 18 flood alerts in place across the county – including alerts along the River Mole at Leatherhead, Dorking and Cobham and the River Wey at Old Woking.
• More than 1,000 homes in the Surrey area have been flooded while a further 2000 to 2500 have been affected.
• 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.
• Firefighters and other agencies have rescued 1,119 people from flooded homes near the Thames since the flooding began.
• There have been no reported burglaries of flooded / evacuated properties to date. Extra patrols via boat, foot and cars patrols are out in force patrolling affected areas as well as number-plate recognition cameras have been stationed on routes in and out to deter criminal activity to protect empty properties.
• 57 on-going road closures remain in place across the county with 60 roads in total affected by flooding so please check travel update such as Twitter account @surreytravel for the latest information.
Surrey Police continues to have around 130 dedicated officers and staff assisting evacuations, helping to install flood defences and protecting homes.
Assistant Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “As the weather has improved today there have been more people out and about in the flood affected areas.
“I would ask people to be mindful of the potential dangers of deep or fast flowing open water and urge them not to go into flooded areas.
“Although some river walks may seem passable, open water can be very fast flowing and extremely hazardous. Just six inches of water is enough to knock someone off their feet and as it is half term I would ask all parents to ensure their children stay out of the flooded areas.
“I would also ask that those who have to drive through standing water make sure they slow down as bow waves can wash into people’s homes and make their situation even worse.
“We have had reports that people are visiting flood hit areas specifically to drive their vehicles through the floods. Flood tourism is not helpful – if there is no reason to drive through water then please stay away.
“We will continue to carry out foot, car and boat patrols in flood affected areas to ensure we keep homes, businesses and residents safe.”
The Environment Agency:
The Environment Agency is continuing to monitor river levels across Surrey. We have worked with partners to deploy temporary flood defences in the area and are reviewing where else they could be used. The Environment Agency has teams out across the region maintaining defences, clearing trash screens and keeping rivers flowing.
Levels on the Lower Thames through Surrey have been slowly falling for a number of days now, however with the rainfall seen this week and further rainfall forecast next week, we are expecting to see river levels rise again through next week.
The Thames Barrier closed today at 11am for a record eighteenth consecutive time as the Environment Agency works to protect communities along the River Thames.
To check whether your home is vulnerable please check the flood warnings and alerts in your area by visiting:http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood
To sign up to flood warnings call Floodline on: 0345 988 1188 / 0845 988 1188.
If your home or business is vulnerable to flooding and you need sandbags please contact your local authority who are providing them free of charge. Residents can call Elmbridge Borough Council on 01372 474474, Spelthorne Borough Council on 01784 451499, and Runnymede Borough Council on 01932 838383.
|Runnymede Borough Council:
A Rest Centre is open in Woodham and New Haw Centre, Amis Avenue, New Haw, KT15 3ET tel: 01932 355707. We are offering bed and breakfast and £10 towards food per person if those evacuated are unable to find alternative accommodation. We have had a generous offer from a local hotelier who has offered his hotel to use for displaced residents free of charge.
Egham Leisure Centre (ELC), Vicarage Road Egham TW20 8NL and Addlestone Leisure Centre (ALC), School Lane Addlestone KT15 1TD are offering the use of their shower and toilet facilities for those affected by the flooding. Their opening times are:
ELC: Mon-Fri: 6.30am to 10pm, Sat: 8am to 7pm, Sun: 8am to 10pm
ALC: Mon-Fri 6.30am to 10pm, Sat: 8am to 5.30pm, Sun: 8am to 9pm
Car parking charges for all car parks in Runnymede have been suspended until Sunday 23 February.
Yesterday 2 Royal Tank Regiment took over control ofoperations on the ground in the Staines andChertseyarea from 2 Royal Gurkha Regiment who had been on the ground since the operation commenced on the 9th of February.
Work continues to complete the final part of the Staines Aqua Dam; this is expected to be finished today. In addition, ongoing reconnaissance, reassurance and Vulnerable Person patrols continue as directed by the team leading the multi-agency response and both full time and Reserve troops, from a variety of sub units, remain on hand to respond to events as they develop.
Surrey Fire and Rescue currently have a number of High Volume Pumping (HVP) units in the Lower Thames area of Surrey. These units have been deployed at the request of tactical advisors on the ground with specialist knowledge and experience of flooding and high volume pumping.
Our intention is to help communities to begin recovering from the flooding and prevent the situation from worsening. We have tried to keep any disruption to local residents to a minimum and have been able to keep roads open.As river levels drop it will become easier to remove water. We are constantly monitoring our current locations to ensure they are as affective as they can be and we will remove units when they are no longer needed, but we envisage them being in place for the majority of the coming week.
We have two High Volume Pumping units in Staines Rd, Staines. These are double pumping with further support from pumping units from the Environment Agency. We have not requested road closures and intend to maintain access wherever necessary for local residents.
We currently have three High Volume Pumping units in the Chertsey Bridge / Abbey Chase area.
We are investigating further potential sites in Vicarage Road and to assist the removal of water from the A308, ahead of Mondaymorning traffic.
For further advice on flooding visit our website: http://www.surrey.police.uk/keeping-safe/protecting-you-and-your-family/flood-advice
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