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Home   Kent   News   Article

Flood warnings remain in force in Kent with heavy downpours and gale force winds expected

08 February 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Flood waters could stay in Kent for months because the ground is so saturated, according to experts.

The bleak outlook from the Environment Agency comes as flood warnings remain in force across the county.

Heavy downpours and gale force winds are expected over the weekend.

John the plumber Helm leaves Little Venice Country Park and Marina

John "the plumber" Helm leaves Little Venice Country Park and Marina

The Environment Agency has 10 flood warnings in place while the Met Office has a yellow warning for rain and wind in the county.

It is thought coastal areas could experience winds of up to 70mph with gusts reaching 60mph inland which could lead to some travel disruption.

Two people were rescued by firefighters when their car got stuck in flood water on Kingsland Lane, Westwell, Ashford.

Crews wore dry suits to get the man and woman to safety from the 4x4 at 2.20pm - the couple were not hurt.

Watch manager Kevin Surridge, of Ashford fire station, said they were alerted by a call from a mobile phone: "The vehicle had gone into flood water about 4ft deep and stalled. Our crew put on dry suits to push it out and we left them with the AA."

Staff finished evacuating the caravan park. Little Venice Country Park and Marina, Hempstead Lane, Yalding.

Staff evacuating the caravan park. Little Venice Country Park and Marina, Hempstead Lane, Yalding.

Firefighters also spent the morning pumping out properties at The Green, Patrixbourne and are reminding people not to drive or walk through flooded areas.

Station Manager Liam Hudson, said: "While firefighters were working to relieve flooding, they saw incidents of people attempting to enter floodwater.

"Flooding may look innocent enough but fast-flowing water that is just 15cm deep can be enough to knock an adult off their feet and it can conceal many hazards such as drains and sinkholes.

"We would urge people to stay out of floodwater, however shallow. If help is required, please ask the properly equipped agencies."

 
 
Many roads were left impassable by flooding

Many roads were left impassable by flooding

This road in Patrixbourne has become a river after flooding along the Nailbourne

Flooding has hit the whole region

The Environment Agency warned of more flooding risks

The Environment Agency warned of more flooding risks

One driver at Patrixbourne ignored the 'road closed' sign.

One driver at Patrixbourne ignored the 'road closed' sign.

According to Kent Police, around 50 properties are still at risk of damage from flooding in Bridge, near Canterbury while The Little Venice Caravan Site in Yalding remains badly affected.

Officers and Kent Community Wardens from the county council warned residents who may be affected by rising water.

They visited properties in Elham, Bridge, Wickhambreaux, Patrixbourne, Barham, Bishopsbourne, Bekesbourne and Littlebourne to give advice on the latest weather and check on residents’ safety.

Jenny Donovan from the Environment Agency, said: "The flooding won't recede fast, because the ground water level is so high and the catchments are so saturated, we're going to see this water stay around for a good number of weeks, if not months.
 
"In East Kent, the Nailbourne River is now fully flowing and that's causing impacts for people and their property. They're also experiencing ground water coming up through their floorboards into their homes."
 
She added: "The areas we're really putting our attention along with partners are along the Stour, along Little Stour Valley - so towns and villages like Canterbury, Thanington, Kingston, Bridge. Obviously we're still making sure we're looking at the areas in West Kent too like the catchment areas along the Medway and Darent."

A wall of sandbags being built to try and hold back flood water, Barham.

A wall of sandbags being built to try and hold back flood water, Barham. File picture

Flooding along the Nailbourne, Littlebourne.

Flooding along the Nailbourne, Littlebourne.

One plucky 86-year-old pensioner Jeanne Tapley, who has lived in Bridge for more than 60 years, insisted she would not be moving out of her flooded home in Brewery Lane.

Sat in an armchair raised on bricks in her front room, which was three inches deep in water, she said: "I was flooded before in 2001 and I didn't move then. The only way I'm leaving this house is feet first".

She was visited by neighbours and volunteers from the Red Cross and St John Ambulance who were checking on her welfare.

Plucky pensioner Jeanne Tapley, 86, in her flooded home at Bridge with Russell Taylor from the Red Cross and Mary Starrs from the St John Ambulance

Plucky pensioner Jeanne Tapley, 86, in her flooded home at Bridge with Russell Taylor from the Red Cross and Mary Starrs from the St John Ambulance

Extra highways crews have been drafted in by Kent County council and others put on standby to deal with any fallen trees and flooding.

Clearing trees and carrying out repairs will be done on a priority basis with key roads and homes that are directly affected dealt with first.

Drivers are also being urged to take care of fallen branches and rising water.

KCC has also been working with district councils, the Police, Kent Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency distribute sandbags to vulnerable areas.

Figures have revealed since early December the Highways Management Centre for Kent, which co-ordinates work on the county’s roads, has received more than 3,000 calls about flooding and drainage.

Click here for more news from Kent.

Click here for more news from around the county.

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