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Thames Barrier goes up 4th time in 48 hours to stop floods

PUBLISHED: 12:15 02 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 05 October 2010

THE Thames flood barrier is closed today for the fifth time in three days as London faces more flood alerts today. It is due to reopen at 4.30pm, but may have to be closed again this-evening if high tides continue threatening London

By Mike Brooke

THE Thames flood barrier is closed today for the fifth time in three days as London faces more flood alerts today.

It is due to reopen at 4.30pm, but it may have to be closed again this-evening if high tides continue threatening London, the Environment Agency has told the East London Advertiser.

It reopened at 4am this morning after last night’s alert, but had to be closed again less than eight hours later at 11.30 as high tides coupled with the continued flow of rainwater into the Thames from the weekend looked like they could rise to dangerous levels along the river.

Areas affected include East London as well as Central London and as far west as Teddington, in addition to low-lying marshland along the Lea River tributary through East London as far north as Hertford.

The Environment Agency currently has 23 flood watches in force across London, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Berkshire and the Thames Valley.

The decision whether to close it yet again tonight will be made at 4.30pm with the latest forecast from the London Meteorological Centre. It takes 90 minutes to close the barrier.

The most closures in any given period of alert since the barrier was built in the 1970s was seven years ago, when it was raised 13 times between January 1 and 8, 2003.

The level of risk from flooding can be checked on the Environment Agency’s website, while local river level information is available on the Floodline: 0845-9881188.


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