According to the Environmental Agency the Thames has now stabilized after the worst flooding we have seen in nearly 70 years. However, they also warn that there will be further downpours prolonging the flooding caused in recent weeks.
The Environment Agency flood warnings are still in place for many parts of Surrey and surrounding areas. Although the weather is generally dry today, tomorrow could deliver more heavy rain.
To Keep Flood Water Out the Environment Agency Advise:
“If you know your property is in an area that could flood, buy protection equipment and prepare your property well in advance to reduce the risk of flood water getting inside. Remove flood protection equipment once the water has gone to help dry out your property.
Sandbags: contact local builders' merchants for stocks of bags and sand. Alternatively, you can find suppliers of modern non-sand bags designed for flooding on the National Flood Forum Blue Pages Directory. Note that sandbags are ineffective for groundwater flooding. Please refer to the 'keep groundwater out' section for advice on this.
Doors and windows: buy automatic flood-proof doors and windows, or purpose-built flood boards that can be fitted when flooding is expected. Raise door thresholds to help keep shallow water out.
Exterior walls: check the pointing, and apply water-proofing sealant to exterior walls.
Floors: raise damp-proof brick courses. Seal floors or replace wooden floodboards with concrete with a damp-proof membrane. Be aware that water can enter where the floor and walls join.
Air bricks: buy automatic flood-proof air bricks or specially designed covers that are easy to fit over air bricks when flooding is expected.
Drains and pipes: fit non-return valves to drains and water inlet and outlet pipes. This will prevent wastewater from flowing back into the property through sewerage pipes for ground floor toilets and sinks.
Barriers: you could arrange free-standing temporary flood barriers, but remember that water could still get in through the drainage system. Talk to your neighbours about building a single barrier around several houses to help spread the cost and the benefits. You may need Environment Agency permission to install a barrier so call 0370 850 6506 and ask to speak to someone in the Development Control team in your local office.
Landscaping: landscape garden areas and driveways to help divert water away from your property.”
For so many this advice is too little too late and although we are battling against Mother Nature, there are those flood victims and alike who are asking how this can happen in the 21st Century in the UK.
There is much discussion about how well or not, as the case may be, the emergency response has been to the flooding throughout the country and it does beg the question how can we build our defences against such powerful environmental destruction through dredging and so on for the future.