THE Dartford and Thames barriers have been closed as of this morning (January 4) to defend against a high tide in London.

The Environmental Agency closed the barriers to protect the capital.

The Thames Barrier has been closed as of 10.40am this morning

It ensures river levels are “safely contained” within London’s tidal river walls and the Thames estuary tidal defences.

The Thames Barrier will be reopened at 4.00pm.

A spokesperson for Environment Agency said: “We have closed the Thames Barrier, Barking Barrier and the Dartford Creek Barrier, due to a high tide, to ensure river levels are safely contained within London’s tidal river walls and Thames Estuary tidal defences.

“We continually monitor tidal conditions and will react as appropriate.”

Alan Flood Forecaster, who works for the Environmental Agency, tweeted (@AlanBarrierEA): “The #ThamesBarrier is closing today.

“Due to a combination of a high tide and forecast tidal surge, we are closing the 520m flood barrier from around 10.40 this morning.

“This will be the 202nd time we've protected #London from tidal flooding in nearly 40 years.

“As well as the #ThamesBarrier, our teams will also be closing the Dartford Creek Barrier and the Barking Barrier, protecting properties on the tidal River Darent and River Roding.

“We're aiming to have the #ThamesBarrier reopened at around 4.00pm

“Today's closure is due to a low pressure that moved across the north Scotland coast overnight.

“It's created a healthy tidal surge, which combined with spring tides, will generate a high tide in the #Thames Estuary.

“The #ThamesBarrier is now closed.

“It will remain closed until around 4.00pm, once the tide has turned and levels on either side have equalised.”

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