Environment Agency warns of flood threat in East of England: Thundery downpours forecast tonight and tomorrow

THE Environment Agency is urging people across the East of England to remain vigilant as heavy thunderstorms are forecast to affect the region later today (Friday) and into tomorrow.

Locally intense showers falling on already saturated ground could lead to surface water flooding and possible river flooding from fast responding rivers, particularly across parts of the Midlands and East Anglia.

The Met Office warns that many areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 mm of rain, but some parts could see up to 60mm (almost a month’s worth of rain) in just a few hours.

Flooding from surface water happens when the local drainage system cannot cope with rainfall. It is extremely difficult to predict precisely where surface water flooding will happen as it depends on ground levels, the amount of rainfall, and the local drainage network.

Toby Willison, Environment Agency Anglian regional director, said: “Although we have seen surface water flooding in this region and difficult conditions for some people, we haven’t so far been as badly affected as other parts of the country. But with this changeable weather we need to ensure we’re prepared for sudden flooding and know what to do if it hits us.

“The combination of saturated ground, high river levels and further forecasts of torrential rain mean people must remain vigilant. The public should check local weather forecasts, and the Environment Agency website for information on a regular basis as flooding can happen very quickly.”

Environment Agency teams have been mobilised across the region to check on flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels. These teams have been working around the clock to reduce the risk of flooding, and will be out in force again over the coming days.

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People are urged not to walk or drive through flood waters, which can be dirty, dangerous and full of hidden debris.

The Environment Agency updates its flood guidance every 15 minutes on its website at environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx, and you can follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgencyAnglia

Met Office weather forecasts and warnings can be found at metoffice.gov.uk and you can follow the Met Office on Twitter at @metoffice and Facebook at facebook.com/metoffice