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Flood alerts and warnings remain in place in Southern England

In Dorset, South Wiltshire, Somerset and along the Thames the risk of flooding from groundwater and rivers remains high.

Cyclist in the floods

Flood warnings and flood alerts remain in place across the South of England, especially Dorset, South Wiltshire, Somerset and along the Thames where the risk of flooding from groundwater and rivers remains high. Elsewhere, clean-up work is underway.

Public Health England (PHE) is providing information to local partners in areas affected by flooding, on the potential health impacts before, during and after a flood as well as advice and support on the response and recovery.

Professor Virginia Murray, head of extreme events and health protection for PHE, said:

As the risk from flooding remains in some parts of the country, we advise the public to follow the warnings and alerts from the Environment Agency and take action if flooding has been forecast in your area.

If you have been flooded, remember that accidents happen in fast flowing floodwater so avoid walking or driving in or near floodwater. Take care if you must go into flood water as there could be hidden dangers like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution. Also wash your hands regularly and do not eat food that has touched flood water.

When cleaning up after a flood, ensure good ventilation if using portable indoor appliances to dry out rooms. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. Never use outdoor generators indoors even in the event of a power cut. Also, remember not to turn on gas or electrics until they have been checked by a qualified technician, and check with your local water company that your water is safe to use for drinking or washing.

If your home has been damaged by floodwater, consider staying with friends or family, or ask your local authority to help you find alternative accommodation. Only consider returning to your home when essential repairs and cleaning have been completed.

Feeling tired, anxious and having difficulty sleeping is normal after you have been flooded. Contact friends and family for support as it can take a long time for life to return to normal, and if necessary call NHS 111 or visit your GP for medical advice.

More advice on what to do before, during and after a flood is available in a leaflet produced by Public Health England in collaboration with the Environment Agency.

Published 15 January 2014