The Environment Agency has advised the south east of England to prepare for flooding due to oncoming thunderstorms and torrential rain this weekend.

Rainstorms are expected to move across England from this evening until tomorrow, starting in the South-East.

Environment Agency Operations Manager Barry Russell described the risk the heavy rainfall could bring.

He said: “Heavy rainfall is expected over the weekend, which increases the risk of surface water flooding.

“The intense nature of the rainfall which causes surface water flooding makes it very difficult to accurately predict where it will occur.”

Roads can be badly affected by surface water flooding, with roads becoming almost impossible to pass. People are urged not to drive through flood water.

Flash flooding is also a possibility, with smaller rivers and rivers in urban areas the most at risk of overflowing. The Environment Agency is also working hard to clear debris from streams and unblock culverts in an attempt to minimise the flood risk, particularly targeting rivers with a higher potential of being inundated.

Barry Russell added: “We are monitoring the situation closely and supporting local councils, who will respond to any reports of flooding.”

To cover a wider area this weekend, the agency will also be opening incident rooms across the region, from which they will monitor the situation.

The Environment Agency Operations Manager insisted that reading up online is the best way to be prepared for the oncoming storms.

He said: “I would urge people to check local weather forecasts and the GOV.UK website for information on a regular basis.”

People can sign up to receive free flood warnings for rivers, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, including a 3-day flood risk forecast on the GOV.UK website at

The Environment Agency can also be found on twitter @EnvAgencySE with up-to-date information.