Flooding fears after heavy rainfall

FLOODING fears were voiced last night after weather experts warned water levels were already at dangerously high levels.February looks like being one of the wettest on record for large parts of Suffolk and Essex, with more showers forecast for the rest of the week.

FLOODING fears were voiced last night after weather experts warned water levels were already at dangerously high levels.

February looks like being one of the wettest on record for large parts of Suffolk and Essex, with more showers forecast for the rest of the week.

The rivers Waveney, Stour, Colne, Stour, Deben, Lark, Box and Brett have all been on a state of alert in recent days.

Although they have now been given the all-clear, the Environment Agency said last night it was constantly monitoring the situation.


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“It's too early to say if there will be any floods but, if river levels remain high and the ground continues to be saturated, they are more likely, particularly if the heavy rain continues,” said an agency spokeswoman.

Jim Bacon, of meteorological experts Weatherquest, believes the wet spell is likely to continue through the weekend.

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He said: “The next few days are going to feel like it never stops raining. There isn't one day where it's not likely to rain at all and there will be a lot of unsettled weather.”

So far this month, twice the average rainfall has fallen on Suffolk, which follows on from a wetter than average January.

Suffolk weatherman Ken Blowers said that by the start of this week 3.2ins of rain had fallen in February, when the county average is 1.6ins.

The rain caused problems with standing water on some roads yesterday and many fields have been left under water.

Although the wet weather has caused problems for some, the water companies have welcomed the downpour.

A spokesman for Anglian Water said its Alton Water reservoir was now almost completely full - and the underground aquifers were becoming well saturated.

He said: “It is much more difficult to make sure the amount of water in the aquifers, and it does take quite a long time for all the rain to soak through to them.

“But we know they are being replenished well. So far as we are concerned the rain is very welcome and it is the right kind of rain after a couple of very dry winters.

“We've managed to operate since 1991 without any water restrictions and with all the rain we have had this winter we are pretty confident there is not danger of any restrictions in this part of the world for the next 12 months.

“We were hoping for a wet winter and that's exactly what we've got.”

The Environment Agency provides flood warnings online 24 hours a day at: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/floodwarning or call 0845 9881188.

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