19-02-2014 02:30 AM | News, Property News

Flood warnings remain but river levels set to fall slowly



Flood warnings remain but river levels set to fall slowly
River levels are expected to remain high for several more days, especially along the Thames and Severn, but levels are starting to gradually fall this week. Severe flood warnings for the Thames were downgraded yesterday in response to this improving picture, but property could be flooded for some time. Flood Warnings remain in place.

The River Severn could also see ongoing flooding in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire until Thursday.

On the Somerset Levels flooding continues, with two severe flood warnings still in force.

The Environment Agency is urging people to remain vigilant as river levels are still very high across southern England and groundwater flooding remains a concern in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and parts of London. Local authorities will work with utility companies to respond to these incidents. There is also a risk of coastal flooding for North Cornwall and North Devon, and at Chiswell and Preston Beach in Dorset from Thursday through to Saturday.

The country’s largest ever pumping operation continues on the Somerset Levels.

Local authorities are being supported in their recovery efforts, and will continue to work closely with multi-agency command centres across the country as part of our work with a wide range of partners including the military, local authorities and the emergency services.

Since the 29 January 2014, around 1700 properties have flooded, while over 207,000 have been defended from flooding. The Environment Agency has sent over 2.5 million flood warning messages to people with properties at risk of flooding.

Mat Crocker, flood risk duty manager at the Environment Agency said: “Flooding has devastating impacts on communities and businesses and our thoughts are with all those that have been flooded.

“It is an improving picture across most of the country, but we will continue to see the impacts of flooding for many days to come.

“We are still working around the clock to protect communities, and will continue to work closely with local authorities in the coming weeks to support their recovery efforts.

A fundraising event was organised by Glamorgan NFU and YFC to raise money for the farmers in Somerset affected by the floods.

"The purpose of this event is to raise as much money as possible for our fellow farmers in the Somerset levels who remain flooded and will certainly be facing financial hardship as they struggle to restore their livelihoods after the flood waters subside," said Abi Reader, NFU Cymru Glamorgan County Chairman.

Whilst Scotland has not suffered flooding to anything like the same extent as parts of England and Wales, there are many individual farmers who have experienced significant damage and losses in one of the stormiest winters in some areas of Scotland.

The Union has been receiving calls from members hit by flooding since late December 2013 and the number now affected by the high rainfall is increasing. Many of those contacting the Union feel that the rules around watercourse management and practices such as dredging are confusing, expensive and restrictive.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller wrote to Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse and SEPA Chairman, David Sigsworth asking for regulations and guidance to be examined in light of problems this winter.

In the letter, Mr Miller wrote: “I have watched with dismay as farmers and rural residents in many parts of England and Wales have battled with flooding over recent weeks. Whilst Scotland has not suffered to the same extent, there are many farmers who have individually experienced significant damage and losses.

“This, coupled with a groundswell of opinion that regulation of management of watercourses is too confusing, expensive and restrictive – and is thus reducing the resilience and productivity of Scottish farming – means that I feel the time has come for a review of this issue here in Scotland.

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