Deanston Drive: Burst water main floods road

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After 2021 saw flash floods ravage London from July 12 to 25, forecasts for January hold pressure systems could generate a “particularly high tide” on Tuesday. As a result of the forecast, the Thames Barrier will be closed on Tuesday in a bid to halt river levels overtopping defences.

A flood warning is in place for the Thames, with river levels expected to be high as a result of spring tides from Putney Bridge to Teddington Weir.

According to the Environmental Agency, forecasted high tide at Richmond is set to be 4.70m Above Ordnance Datum (AOD) at 3pm on Monday and and 5.03mAOD at 3am on Tuesday.

The Government alert added: “Flooding of low-lying roads and footpaths is expected, which may exist for one to two hours either side of high tide. Flooding of properties is not expected.

“We believe there is a possibility of flooding for Putney Embankment (SW15), Chiswick Mall and Strand on the Green (W4), Thames Bank at Mortlake (SW14), Ranelagh Drive (TW1), Friars Lane and Water Lane (TW9), Riverside and The Embankment at Twickenham, and the Towpath below Teddington Lock.”

Alan Atkin, a member of the Environmental Agency’s Flood Forecasting and Response team, posted on Twitter that the Thames Barrier is planned to be closed on Tuesday due to the warning.

He said: “Forecast river levels on Tuesday afternoon suggest they could come close to overtopping flood defences in central London.

“Looks set to be our 202nd Flood Defence Closure.”

On December 31, he also posted a graphic from Weather Online, showing a low pressure system which Mr Atkin added “could generate a tidal surge and a particularly high tide”.

It comes after an independent review commenced, seeking to examine the “extent and causes” of the flash floods in London during July.

The London Flood Review, commissioned by Thames Water and launched on Tuesday, will “assess how the drainage systems performed” and “recommend how the increasing risks of future flooding events can be managed”.

A group of independent experts will conduct the review, with water strategist Mike Woolgar chairing the panel.

He said: “The extreme flooding London experienced this past summer is likely indicative of events we may see more of under climate change.

“Flooding like this is frightening for those affected and the mess, losses and damages for so many people underlines just how important this review is.”

The final report will be presented at a public session in the first half of 2022.

Warren Buckley, Thames Water retail director, added: “We welcome and support the London Flood Review, led by Mike Woolgar.

“The severe weather patterns that led to some of the flooding incidents this summer look likely to become the new normal for the UK.

“Ensuring that our network can operate and minimise the risk of future flooding needs to now become the collective new focus for all organisations involved in London’s water network and drainage systems.

“While we can’t prevent every flood from happening, we know that we can do better and we must invest in resources today in order to build greater resilience tomorrow.

“This independent review will be at the heart of driving future improvements at Thames Water, and we hope it will also prove valuable for all authorities with surface water management responsibilities.”

During July’s flash floods, a month’s worth of rain fell in three hours, with fourteen flood alerts implemented for most of the capital and some neighbouring counties.

Following the storms, Kensington and Chelsea residents and politicians criticised leaders at Thames Water after dozens of people were forced out of their homes.

Social media footage showed crews attempting to rescue stranded drivers who risked becoming submerged under rising water levels.

Floods of water flushed into Pudding Mill Lane DLR station at Stratford, creating whirlpools at ticket barriers.

Station closures due to flooding included Covent Garden, Edgware Road, Gants Hill, Kennington, North Greenwich, Pudding Mill Lane, Stepney Green, Stockwell and Surrey Quays.

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