Thames Water requests patience from customers ahead of potential flooding from heavy rainfall
4:25pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
PREPARATIONS are underway for flooding related problems ahead of what could be a very wet weekend.
With more rainfall predicted overnight and into Friday, Thames Water has advised its customers to be vigilant and has warned them that response times may be slower than normal.
Following the rainiest year on record in England, the ground is like a soaked sponge and rivers across the company's London and Thames Valley region are full to the brim.
Heavy rainfall at the end of December led to rivers bursting their banks, sending floodwater across already-sodden ground and into the sewer network, which in some areas was overwhelmed, leading to nasty drainage problems for some households and businesses.
Thames Water has asked customers to be patient with its operations and customer service staff as they continue to deal with this challenge.
If the Thames region does receive a large amount of rain which does lead to localised flooding, telephone wait times are likely to increase for callers into the customer service centre.
Who to contact for assistance:
Roadside gullies: If roadside gullies are blocked and water cannot enter them, contact your local council.
River flooding: Contact the Environment Agency on their 24-hour Floodline 0845 988118.
Sandbags: If a property is in danger of flooding contact the local council for sand bags.
Natalie Beckerman, Thames Water's customer service director, said: “With more wet weather on the way we are preparing for what could be a busy weekend.
"After England's wettest year on record the ground is sodden, like a soaked sponge, so floodwater is continuing to run across the surface and into our sewers, which are designed to take only wastewater from homes and businesses, not rivers and streams that have burst their banks too.
“Additional rain is likely to lead to flooding and drainage-related problems for some of our customers, and this means our response times may be slower than normal.
"We continue to prioritise people most in need of help. We sympathise deeply with people affected by flooding, and we are doing everything we can to help where possible.
"While our 109,000km network of sewers across London and the Thames Valley is operating largely as it should, in some areas it is struggling with the sheer volume of water going through it due to record rainfall."