"Act now": Environment Agency warns residents closest to the Thames at Kingston to protect homes with sandbags (From Surrey Comet)
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"Act now": Environment Agency warns residents closest to the Thames at Kingston to protect homes with sandbags
Updated 4:00pm Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
Property flooding is still a possibility for homes close to the Thames in Kingston, according to Kingston police, with more heavy rain and winds of almost 50mph expected today.
The Environment Agency is warning residents to expect heavy showers through to Thursday, with winds expected to hit 48mph by 3pm today.
The flood helpline warned properties closest to the river Thames at Kingston at 12.09pm: "Flooding is expected. Immediate action is required. Your safety, home and posessions are at risk. Act now."
It warns residents to take urgent action to prevent water getting into home, block doors and ventilation points with sandbags and wood boards, and to move family, pets and valuables to a safe space.
No homes in Kingston have yet been flooded with water levels still a long way below the surge which would be needed to flood homes closest to the river in flooded Lower Ham Road.
Greg Miles, head of promotions at Canadian and Portland Estates, the developers behind the new Riverside Kingston restaurant development, said: “We’re alright at the moment, but it has been a bit of an anxious time.
“If the rain continues its certainly going to be a bit of a worry.
“I think residential properties are different, but the guidance given to us by the Environment Agency was that we weren’t allowed to have flood defences because it only pushed the problem further down the river.
“We do have sluices which allow water in, but there’s not much more we can do. We’ve still got abpout three feet to go before it reaches us, so we’re just keeping our fingers crossed.”
Surrey Police tweeted earlier today that councils had free sandbags for high risk areas and advised avoiding door-to-door sellers.
Kingston Council said it was providing sandbags only to vulnerable residents who needed them.
For updates call the Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter quickdial number 173141 to get more information.
The flood warning is still in place between Raven's Ait and Teddington Weir including the Hogsmill River below Kingston University's Knights Park Campus, both Kingston Bridges and Steven's Eyot.
So far the water is very high on the riverside, with the edges of Raven's Ait taking on water and sections of the towpath flooded. Lower Ham Road is still flooded.
Land on the Hampton side of the river behind the house boats by Kingston Bridge is under water.
At 1pm today before rain began the river level was 5.34 metres, way above the normal range of 3.49m and 5m but below the 5.39m recorded yesterday morning.
The highest recorded level since measurement began in 1983 was 5.71m, although in 1968 and 1947 large parts of Kingston flooded.
The Environment Agency says: "The River Thames at Kingston remains high due to a combination of high fluvial flows upstream and tides.
"Further property flooding is possible closest to the river. The weather prospects are to expect heavy rain through Wednesday morning and afternoon.
"This will be followed by showers, some heavy at times, which will continue through Thursday."
Adam White tweeted a picture of the Thames at Canbury Gardens, close to the Boaters and Kingston Rowing Club, saying: "going crazy in @kingstonnews this morning, now over the steps at #CanburyGardens near @KingstonRC".
Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey said yesterday that the Hawker Centre and the Kingston Hill university campus had been designated as emergency shelters if needed.
To call Kingston Council about a person or home vulnerable to flooding call 020 8547 5002.
Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 173141 to get more information.
Call the newsdesk on 020 8744 4244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are at risk of flooding.
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