RESIDENTS along the River Thames are being urged to remain vigilant and take action as water levels continue to rise. 

The Environment Agency has warned of further flooding is expected across the South East with 52 flood warnings in place and 96 flood alerts currently in place.

People should make sure they know what they will do if flooding occurs, check on elderly neighbours and make sure they move valuables upstairs in case their property does get flooded.

With further rain expected tonight (January 8) and tomorrow, people are being urged to remain safe around floodwater and avoid driving or walking through it.

The Thames Barrier reopened this morning from the twelfth consecutive closure and is due to close again on this afternoon's tide for the thirteenth consecutive time.

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

Simon Hughes, regional duty manager for the Environment Agency, said: “I would urge communities not to delay in taking action, particularly along the River Thames below Oxford, into Berkshire and through Surrey.

"Levels are high and will continue to rise for the next few days and, while our staff are working hard to provide up-to-the-minute information for the public, local authorities and emergency services, people need to start taking action now.

“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.”

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.