PEOPLE living along the Thames should be prepared for flooding all week as heavy rains are forecast to fall on already saturated ground.

Across the south east there are currently 49 Flood Warnings in place, and 98 Flood Alerts.

Along the River Thames water levels remain high and continue to rise in response to the recent rainfall.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning - the lowest of its three levels - for "heavy showers, some of them combined with hail and thunder" until tomorrow morning across the South East, South West and East of England.

Forecasters are predicting rainfall of between 0.6in (15mm) and 1in (25mm) but are warning of as much as 1.6in (40mm) in some areas.

Temporary defences have been erected in Osney, in Oxford, and further temporary barriers have also been put in Purley to protect riverside properties.

The Thames Barrier is being closed yet again today, for the 11th consecutive tide, to protect people and property along the river. The Dartford and Queenborough Creek Barriers will also close on the high tides.

David Bedlington, regional flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, said: "The Environment Agency’s incident rooms remain open, and our staff are working hard to provide up-to-the-minute information for the public, local authorities and emergency services. 

"Our staff on the ground are working in collaboration with our partners in the local authorities to reduce the risk of flooding in Guildford town centre by erecting temporary defences where the risk of flooding is greatest.

"We also have ambassadors out across the South in areas such as oxford, Abingdon, Guildford and in the Lambourn Valley advising people of what they can do to reduce the impacts of flooding.

"We continue to encourage the public in affected areas to remain vigilant, and to keep a close eye on media reports and weather forecasts.  It is important to take extra care in deep or flowing water; do not take risks if you are unsure of the depth of the water or of any hidden hazards."

Although road conditions are improving, motorists are urged to stay alert to potential dangers and drive responsibly.

People should check the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgencySE and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood outlook in the South East Region, and sign up to receive free flood warnings, taking action when they receive them.