THE Environment Agency will be closing the Thames Barrier and Dartford Barrier again this afternoon (Jan 6) as a precaution in case of flooding.

The barriers will be closed from around 3pm until 7.30pm.

The Thames Barrier will be closed for the ninth consecutive time despite no issues being expected from the tide.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “The Thames Barrier re-opened earlier this morning from the eighth consecutive closure and will be closing again on this afternoon's tide for flood defence purposes.

"This ninth consecutive closure is to protect people and property on the Thames Ditton and Trowlock Islands in the River Thames to the west of London.

“There are no issues expected from tidal River Thames, even though the Thames and Dartford barriers will close again this afternoon.

"We urge people to stay vigilant and listen out for our flood alerts and warnings, and take the necessary action.”

Gravesham Council said although there were no severe weather warnings for the Gravesend area last weekend, council officers closely monitored the situation.

A council spokeswoman said: "Over the weekend the water level on the Thames was increased, this was due to the Thames Barrier being shut and the bad weather.

"There was some light flooding on the Gravesend promenade, there was no risk to properties.

"The environment agency did not issue any severe flood alerts for the Gravesham area, however council officers monitored the situation and were on hand with sandbags in case the water dramatically rose and the situation worsened."