THE Environment Agency is preparing for heavy rainfall across the South East over the next ten days and is encouraging communities to take action to prepare for the risk of flooding.

Rivers across the South East, including the River Thames, are rising in response to the recent heavy rainfall that has been experienced across the region.

With the potential for more heavy rainfall over the next four days, there is a high probability of further river, coastal, and groundwater flooding.

Rising river levels and high groundwater levels indicate a continued risk of flooding in many areas across Surrey, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent.

There are currently 17 Flood Warnings and 90 Flood Alerts in place across the South East.

A flood warning means that flooding of property is expected and that people should take action to prepare.

Dave Bedlington, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The forecast suggests that a lot of rain could fall across the south east over the next few days, and with river and groundwater levels already high and responsive this could lead to further property flooding in the coming days.

“Environment Agency teams are working around the clock to prepare for the rainfall by operating pumping stations, issuing flood warnings, and checking that flood banks, walls, and barriers are working effectively.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and we are urging communities 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.”

The Thames Barrier is not expected to close today, although the tidal situation will continue to be monitored closely.

Advice and guidance about flooding is available on the Environment Agency website and from Floodline on 0845 988 1188. For the latest info follow the Environment Agency on Twitter @EnvAgencySE.