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11th hour London flood alert: Thames Barrier remains open

PUBLISHED: 22:47 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:05 05 October 2010

THE Thames Barrier is remaining open tonight after an earlier flood alert for London. The Environment Agency cancelled its operation literally at the 11th hour—at 11pm—and decided there is no flood danger

By Mike Brooke

THE Thames Barrier is remaining open tonight after an earlier flood alert for London.

It was planned to be closed from 11.30pm this-evening (Friday) to prevent flooding in London due to a tidal surge in the estuary.

Strong northerly winds down the east coast in the North Sea caused by a low-pressure weather system had combined with the normal high spring tides to create a surge.

But the Environment Agency cancelled its operation literally at the 11th hour—at 11pm—and decided there is no flood danger.

Tidal experts have determined the surge to have subsided below a level that would pose any risk to London, the Agency said a short time ago. This means the barrier will remain open and there will be no disruption to river traffic overnight.

“Staff monitored the tidal surge and prepared for a barrier closure,” explained Thames tidal flood risk manager Andrew Batchelor. “But during this evening they noted a reduction in the surge that meant closure was no longer required and the barrier would remain open.”

But there was also a flood watch in force this-evening further upriver from Putney Bridge to Teddington Weir, the Environment Agency confirmed. No property is expected to be flooded, however.

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