Folkestone to get £1.5m cash injection for sea defences as severe weather warnings hit flooded Kent
Kent is set to be battered by fresh storms - as thousands of residents in one Kent town are told they are getting flood defences.
An amber warning for severe weather has been placed on the region, with five areas still told to expect immediate flooding.
It comes as government department Defra has announced 42 new flood defences for England, including one at Littlestone Beach in Folkestone.
Storm clouds gather over International House and a flooded Stour Centre car park in Ashford. Picture: Gary Browne
A total of £1.5m is to be spent to shore up defences, and safeguard around 4,500 homes from flooding.
The work is due to start in May this year.
The news comes as Maidstone Borough Council staff are warning residents of flooding on the scale of Christmas.
A spokesman on the council's website said: "The Environment Agency have informed us that due to the recent cumulative rainfall, flooding is likely to occur in the borough in the next 24 – 48 hours and going into the weekend, resulting in flooding to property.
"This will be on a level comparable to the floods seen over the Christmas week.
"Based on current forecasts it is anticipated that the areas most at risk will include Yalding, Little Venice and the town centre."
Waters flood the Yalding caravan park. Picture: Mr H
It advised locals to take extra care, and to avoid walking or driving in flood waters.
It continued: "We are working with partner agencies to coordinate the flood response and Incident Liaison Officers will be out on the ground monitoring levels, liaising with at risk residents and giving information."
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency is warning communities to expect further flooding generally, as more heavy rainfall hits the region today, tomorrow and into Saturday.
The warning follows the wettest January on record in some places, with further rainfall expected on saturated ground and high river levels.
Rivers in Kent, including the Medway, Darent and Stour, are likely to see more flooding over the next few days, according to Agency experts.
Flooding after heavy rainfall in Maidstone
David Bedlington, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Once again we are seeing further bands of heavy rainfall sweeping across the South East, and this is only going to add to the current floods affecting many communities already.
“Our advice is to stay out of flood water and don’t try to drive through it – just 30 cms can wash a car away.
"We will be issuing further warnings over the coming days to those communities that are likely to be affected, so people need to take action immediately so they can protect their property as best they can."
Yalding was one of the worst places to be hit in the recent floods
Weather experts are predicting worse rainfall into this evening, with brisk to strong winds, and maybe even gales near the coasts tonight.
There will be no let-up tomorrow, with the amber warning continuing throughout the day.
Saturday looks set to see a wind and weather warning throughout the day.
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