Communities in the South East are being urged to remain aware of the potential for flooding over the weekend with further heavy rainfall predicted to fall on already saturated ground.
The warning comes as high spring tides are also forecast along the south coast from tomorrow and over the weekend which could result in more Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings.
There are currently four Flood Warnings in place for the South East and 103 Flood Alerts including the River Cherwell from Lower Heyford down to and including Oxford. A Flood Warning means that flooding of property is expected and that people should take action to prepare.
High groundwater levels mean there is a continued risk of flooding in many areas such as south Wiltshire, Hampshire, West Berkshire, West Sussex, Surrey and Kent. The unusual frequency and intensity of rainfall in December 2013 into January 2014 has led to a much more rapid rise in groundwater levels than is usually measured. Groundwater levels are high and still rising. Further substantial rainfall is likely to raise groundwater levels even higher and could lead to further flooding.
Flood Alerts for groundwater flooding are in force currently across the South East and the forecast is for levels to continue to rise in the days ahead. Property flooding in localised areas, and more widespread basement and road flooding are expected to continue. The situation is being monitored closely by Environment Agency teams across the region.
People are urged to avoid driving or walking through flood water. Fast-flowing water that is just 15cm deep can be enough to knock an adult off their feet.
Mark Heelis of the Environment Agency said: “Today, tomorrow and into the weekend we are expecting heavy rainfall which will continue to raise the threat of flooding to communities in the south east.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely as river and groundwater levels across the South East remain high and responsive, and standing water remains in some flood plains.
“Environment Agency teams remain out on the ground around the clock operating pumping stations, issuing flood warnings and checking that flood banks, walls and barriers are working effectively."
Advice for those dealing with flooding is available on the Environment Agency website and from Floodline on 0845 988 1188. Up-to-date information is available on Twitter @EnvAgencySE and by following #floodaware.