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Home   Kent   News   Article

Kent hit by worst increase in average rainfall in England over Christmas and new year

30 January 2014
A severe weather warning has been issued for Kent - as new figures reveal the county had five times the normal rainfall over Christmas and new year.
 
Bollards have been set up in Yalding, close to Lees Road, with surface water seen in the area and the bottom of Yalding hill.
 
Resident Jenny Scott told said: "There's a bit of flooding to be seen and it caused some travel chaos during the morning's rush hour." 
 
Flooding's still bad in Yalding - taken yesterday

Flooding's still bad in Yalding

 
The latest warning comes after parts of Kent saw a whopping 500% increase in average rainfall over the festive period... leaving it totally saturated.

No other county in England saw a greater rise in average rainfall.

Figures released by the Environment Agency show more than 175mm of rain fell over the three weeks between December 23 and January 5.

The area around East Peckham, Yalding and Staplehurst saw the biggest average rainfall rise.

It comes after Yalding was submerged for days over the festive period, with homes flooded and power cut off to many families.

Yalding was one of the worst places to be hit in the recent floods

Yalding was one of the worst places to be hit in the recent floods

Prime minister David Cameron was confronted by one householder who claimed councils and other authorities had left homeowners stranded.

Maidstone town centre was also submerged, and occupants of one caravan park were evacuated as flood waters threatened to engulf the area.

Now the jet stream is being blamed for the torrential rain and floods in recent weeks.

Ian Nunn, operations manager at the Environment Agency said: "This is a significant amount of rain and very unusual for Kent.

"The weather systems coming across the Atlantic have changed from north to south, meaning the county has been more open to wet weather."

David Cameron meets Yalding villagers during a visit to flood-hit sites

David Cameron meets Yalding villagers during a visit to flood-hit sites

Vehicles battle flood water in Birling this afternoon

Vehicles battle flood water in Birling this afternoon

A flooded riverside walk in Tonbridge. Picture courtesy of @_SmartUK

A flooded riverside walk in Tonbridge. Picture courtesy of @_SmartUK

But areas such as Yalding - among those worst hit over Christmas - could still be in the flooding firing line.

That's because the ground is saturated, so there's nowhere for any more water to go.

Ian Nunn said: “Kent and all our catchments are saturated. There is no more storage in the ground itself.

“It means the rivers, like the Nailbourne in the Stour area, are responding very quickly to any rain that falls.

“We can manage the type of steady rain we have experienced this week, but intense periods of rain will knock us for six. This is what we are keeping our eye on the most.

“As long as we get gaps or spells where we are not getting rain then we can manage.

“If the county starts to get heavy, intense, long periods of rainfall it will cause more flooding.

“We have been working flat out since before Christmas. We are trying to do as much as we can to ensure the rivers stay clear.

“Pumping and discharging river water out to sea to keep everything going and it has really pushed us.”

Click here for more news from Kent.

Click here for more news from around the county.

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