People living near the River Rythe in Surrey can now receive free Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings from the Environment Agency when river flooding is imminent.
Owners of nearly 1,770 properties between Oxshott and Thames Ditton that are at risk of flooding will be able to receive advance warnings by phone, text and email if they sign up to the Flood Warning Service at www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings.
It follows the Environment Agency’s installation of telemetry equipment at 2 sites on the river that monitor water levels. This new equipment was delivered in partnership with Elmbridge Borough Council through funding provided under the Community Infrastructure Levy.
The river level data measured with the telemetry is used by Duty Officers to assess the risk of flooding and issue one of 3 levels of warning:
Flood Alert – Prepare. Flooding is possible.
Flood Warning – Act. Flooding is expected. Immediate action required.
Severe Flood Warning – Survive. Severe flooding. Danger to life.
The River Rythe area has been subject to flooding in the past, most recently in the winter of 2013 and in the summer of 2016.
Alex Lucking, Flood and Coastal Risk Management Advisor, said: “The Flood Warning Service is free for users and enables us to warn the local community when flooding is expected, giving them notice to protect themselves and their possessions.”
“Even if their properties and businesses are not at direct risk of flooding from the River Rythe, members of the public can still sign up to the service to stay informed of the local situation.”
The Rythe Flood Warning service is just one of approximately 3,420 Flood Warning Areas throughout England made by the Environment Agency.
Flood Warning and Flood Alert message information can be accessed at any time from Floodline, the Environment Agency’s dedicated flood information service, by calling 0345 988 1188 or by visiting flood warnings for England.
Information on preparing for flooding can be found on the government website.