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Thames Barrier called into use

Thames barrier 2by3

A flood alert was in place across a large swathe of London on Friday afternoon despite the Thames Barrier being reopened after its first operation of the current winter.

The Environment Agency had a ‘flooding is possible’ status along the River Thames at 3pm on Friday - from the barrier itself, near City Airport in East London, to Putney Bridge near Craven Cottage football stadium in West London.

Areas said to be at risk of flooding included Bankside near the Tate Modern and Custom House near the Excel exhibition centre.

An Environment Agency alert said on Friday morning: “The river flow at Teddington Weir is high for this time of year at 200m3/sec. We anticipate the flows to remain high for the next three days.”

It added: “Astronomical tide levels are falling.”

The Thames Barrier was called into action shortly before midday on Wednesday 10 February and reopened at about 4pm the same day.

The barrier stretches 520m across the Thames at Charlton, and takes 90 minutes to close.

Environment Agency flood risk manager Andy Wilkinson said of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February: “Strong winds and high tides over the weekend mean there will be large waves and spray around the coast of England, particularly in Yorkshire, the north east and Cornwall. We wish people heading to the coast a wonderful weekend, but please remember to take care on coastal paths and promenades.

“There is an ongoing risk of flooding along the River Severn in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire on Friday and Saturday as river levels continue to rise after heavy rainfall. The Environment Agency has deployed temporary barriers in Ironbridge and Bewdley. Flooding of low lying roads is possible.”


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