THE Environment Agency has warned the flood risk is set to stay with high tides and heavy rain across the Observer area.
The Environment Agency is preparing for further heavy rainfall which is expected across the south east from today (February 5) and throughout all of this week.
Communities are urged to remain vigilant to the threat of river, coastal and groundwater flooding.
David Bedlington from the Environment Agency, said: “Strong gales and high waves along the coast could cause tidal flooding issues to coastal communities today. This risk coupled with further bands of heavy rain and high groundwater and river levels could lead to further flooding throughout this week.
“We urge people to again stay away from coastlines and tidal areas and not drive through flood water. With further severe weather conditions expected all week, the Environment Agency is likely to issue further warnings so people should check their flood risk and get early warnings so they can take action to protect their property.
“Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock to prepare for the rainfall by operating pumping stations, issuing Flood Warnings, and checking that flood banks, walls, and barriers are all working effectively. We are ready to deploy pumps to affected areas and our flood ambassadors remain out in communities affected by flooding.
“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and we urge communities to be aware of their flood risk for the rest of the week.”
Wettest January on record
This warning follows the wettest January on record in some places, and further rainfall on saturated ground and high river levels could also lead to further flooding.
Strong winds and high waves could also cause an increased risk of flooding along the whole of the south coast over the next few days.
Rivers across the South East, including the River Thames and the Test and Itchen in Hampshire have risen in response to the recent heavy rain that has fallen across the region. With more heavy rainfall forecast all week, there is a high probability of further river, coastal, and groundwater flooding.
There are currently 24 flood warnings and 122 flood alerts in place across the region.
A Flood warning means that flooding of property is expected and that people should take action to prepare.
In addition to the rising river levels, high groundwater levels indicate there is a continued risk of flooding in many areas across Wiltshire, Hampshire, West Berkshire, West Sussex, Surrey, and Kent.
Sign up for flood warnings
Communities are urged to prepare in advance by signing up for free flood warnings and to take action if they receive one.
A Flood Warning indicates that property flooding is expected and immediate action is required.
Advice and guidance about flooding is available on the Environment Agency website and from Floodline on 0845 988 1188.