Press release

Weekend flood risk on 20 July

People are urged to keep up to date with weather and flood risk forecasts as bands of heavy rain and thunderstorms continue spreading north.

placeholder

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will continue to sweep north across England through Saturday before becoming confined to eastern parts of the country on Sunday.

The area facing risk of localised surface water flooding tomorrow has widened out to include Greater London, East Sussex, Thurrock and Kent including Medway. There is also a possibility of flash flooding from small and urban rivers in some of these locations.

Environment Agency teams have been out over the weekend working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts as thunderstorms continue to sweep up from the south across many parts of the UK.

As of 4:30pm, Saturday 19 July, there are 3 flood warnings in place - 1 for Lyme Brook at Newcastle under Lyme and Trent Vale, 1 for the River Chelt at Springbank near Cheltenham and 1 for the Chelt at Uckington and Boddington, near Swindon. There are also 56 alerts in place across the Midlands, South east, South west and North east.

Flood alerts mean flooding is possible, while flood warnings mean flooding is expected.

John Curtin, Director of Incident Management and Resilience at the Environment Agency, said:

Flooding can happen very quickly so we urge people to check local weather forecasts and the Environment Agency website for flood risk information on a regular basis.

We have already seen rainfall totals of 60mm in some places during Saturday, including in Bradford-upon-Avon and at Westonbirt, near Chippenham.

We will continue monitoring the situation closely and supporting local authorities, who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.

Surface water flooding can happen very quickly depending on where thunderstorms occur, the amount and intensity of the rainfall and the local drainage network. It is possible that roads may quickly become impassable and people are urged not to drive through flood water.

People can sign up to receive free flood warnings for rivers, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, including a 3-day flood risk forecast on the GOV.UK website or via #floodaware on Twitter and Facebook.

Published 19 July 2014