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Flood warnings for Rivers Beult, Little Stour, Medway and Nailbourne as further rain is expected

31 January 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Southeastern is warning of disruptions on their services from tonight - as heavy rain and strong winds are set to batter Kent.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings for the county ahead of stormy weather forecast for the next few days.

It is thought up to 30 milimetres of rain could fall - with residents in Yalding among those braced for yet more flooding.

This road in Birling is made almost impassable by flooding. File picture

This road in Birling is made almost impassable by flooding. File picture

The Environment Agency has warned there is a possibility of further flooding on the River Medway between Hampstead lock and Allington Lock.

There are also concerns for the River Beult, between Pluckley and Bethersden and the Nailbourne and Little Stour between Lyminge and Stourmont.

A spokesman said high groundwater levels mean there is a continued risk of flooding in many areas.

People are urged to avoid driving or walking through flood water. Fast-flowing water that is just 15cm deep can be enough to knock an adult off their feet, the Environment Agency said.

Storm clouds gather over International House and a flooded Stour Centre car park in Ashford. Picture Gary Browne

Storm clouds gather over International House and a flooded Stour Centre car park in Ashford. Picture: Gary Browne

Regional flood risk manager Dave Bedlington said: "We are expecting further heavy rainfall today and into the weekend, which will continue to raise the threat of flooding to communities along rivers and along the south east coast, and we already have several flood warnings in force in Hampshire, East Sussex and Kent.

"We will continue to monitoring the situation very closely as river and groundwater levels across the south east remain high and responsive, and standing water remains in some flood plains.

"As high spring tides are also forecast over the weekend we will be keeping a close eye on the developing situation around the coast.

"Environment Agency teams remain out on the ground around the clock operating pumping stations, issuing flood warnings and checking that flood banks, walls and barriers are working effectively."

A slip road at the M26 closed by flooding. File picture @KentPoliceRoads

A slip road at the M26 closed by flooding. File picture: @KentPoliceRoads

Despite the poor news Geraldine Brown, chairman of Yalding Parish Council, told KentOnline: “It won't give us what we saw at Christmas."

She added: “I have been told that we can expect a lot of rain tonight which the Environment Agency are monitoring but it’s difficult to predict how the rivers will react. Flooding could happen on Sunday, or it could happen tonight.

 “The water that we saw reach our roads yesterday has begin to get lower and the village itself is fine at the moment.

“Little Venice, which is about a mile away from the village, had ankle deep waters last night which stretched as far as the office [at the entrance] but no homes were flooded."

Even this ambulance wasn't immune to the perils of flooding. Picture Tom Richards

Flooding has affected the whole of the region. File picture: Tom Richards

The Met Office has also warned of high winds over the weekend, with coastal gales and showers spreading to most parts.

Severe weather is also forecast for this evening with high winds and more heavy rain predicted for the south east.

Some Southeastern trains could be disrupted overnight and tomorrow.

A statement issued today by the firm said: "The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and with the risk of trees falling on to railway lines, flooding and landslips, Network Rail has put in place a 40mph speed restriction across parts of the Southeastern network."

Road flooding

Road flooding

This is due to come into effect from 8pm today until the end of today's service.

The statement continued: "We will work hard to provide the best possible service, however because of the speed restrictions trains will run slower than usual and some will be delayed or cancelled at short notice.

"Services on Saturday may also be affected."

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