Environment Agency warns residents to be careful as rains come

FEARS of flooding have been raised as heavy rainfall looks set to hit the Observer area later this week.

The Environment Agency said on Tuesday, January 29, it was closely monitoring weather forecasts for the next few days as the Met Office predicts heavy rainfall across the region. There are currently 62 flood alerts in place across the region.

West Sussex will see rainfall increasing as the week goes on, with the heaviest rain expected to fall on Friday, February 1.

The Environment Agency is working hard to minimise any possible risk of flooding and is warning residents to take action now to reduce the risks and impacts.

Many rivers remain above their usual winter levels following recent snow and rainfall, and ground is already saturated, so any further rainfall will be carefully monitored. Residents should be prepared for further flood alerts and possible flood warnings to be issued as the rivers react, particularly across Hampshire.

Alison Baptiste, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said: “It looks like it’s going to be a wet week, with heavy rain forecast across the region for the next five days.

“Our teams are working hard to prepare and to make sure our professional partners are prepared. We have officers out checking flood defences and clearing any river blockages. We are receiving regular updates from the Met Office, and will continuously monitor river levels.

“Now is a good time for anyone who lives in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the precautions they can take to protect their properties, and I would encourage everybody to check their flood risk at the Environment Agency website and keep up to date on warnings.”

The Environment Agency provides a 24-hour flood warning service. Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service that sends messages directly to those signed up when flooding from rivers is possible in the areas where they live.

Those in flood risk areas should sign up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning system – the most immediate and localised source of information on flooding – by calling 0845 988 1188 or visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.

The Environment Agency updates its flood guidance every 15 minutes on its website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx and you can follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgencySE