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Thames Barrier on alert due to high spring tides as Environment Agency issues flood warnings for London

Flood warnings have been put in place for the River Thames as higher than predicted spring tides are expected overnight.

Forecasters say a tidal surge is now expected for the river through London and are preparing to close the Thames Barrier if required.

The Thames Barrier. Picture: Alan Atkin/Environment Agency
The Thames Barrier. Picture: Alan Atkin/Environment Agency

Latest observations according to the Port of London Authority identify tides 16cm-43cm higher than predicted through the capital.

At Tilbury – across the river from Kent – the tide is expected to be 6.84m but latest observations showed this to be 7.2m.

The next high water at 2am is predicted to be 6.95m but with a tidal surge also expected it is not yet known how much higher it could be.

Environment Agency flood forecaster at the Thames Barrier, Alan Atkin, said the team was "a little twitchy about the forecast" overnight.

He said smaller flood defences further out in the Thames Estuary will be closed overnight including the Dartford Creek barrier which has been shut today.

Mr Atkin added water levels are expected to be high in areas along the Thames but that no serious flooding was expected east of the barriers.

He said: "Just the usual low-lying open spaces in front of the tidal flood defences that stretch all the way to Sheerness. Flood Alerts may be issued later this afternoon once updated forecast data is received at 6pm."

A flood warning is already in place for central and west London between Putney and Teddington.

The Environment Agency says it will continue to evaluate and observe data.

For all the forecasts, warnings and weather related news, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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