The Government’s Flood Information Service has issued a flood alert for large parts of Croydon, including areas of Kenley and Purley which were under water for weeks in early 2014.
Issued just after 10am today, the alerts for the Caterham Bourne and River Wandle catchment areas are “based on a forecast of heavy rainfall for the area.
“Presently the forecast indicates the catchment could receive up to 30mm in one hour and the potential for 50mm in two hours. These totals could lead to surface water flooding and cause the river to respond and overtop banks. Flood warnings will be issued if required.”
Officially, a flood alert, as opposed to a warning, suggests that flooding is possible and to be prepared. A flood warning is flooding is expected.
The wet spring means that the water table is already high, and the ground saturated. Heavy downpours in the past fortnight have seen flash flooding along some streets around Croydon.
Homes on Caterham Drive in Old Coulsdon suffered flooding in storms last week, while on June 7, Kenley was inundated with nearly 2in of rain.
In 2014, the Caterham Bourne, which runs down from Woldingham, broke its banks and caused flooding for a month, causing millions of pounds of damage. The A22 Godstone Road was closed for weeks and the army was called in to create emergency flood ponds in the pedestrian underpasses at Purley Cross and in school playing fields to avoid a water treatment station and sewage plant being taken out of service.
The flood alert today includes the River Wandle catchment, which takes in parts of Waddon and Broad Green wards, and the Norbury Brook which flows through Selhurst and Norbury.
In a notice issued by Croydon Council officials this afternoon they said, “The highways team [will] continue to monitor the Bourne and those areas that have had flood issues over the last couple of weeks. This includes site visits and discussions with Thames Water with regard to the sewer network. On the Bourne, the trash screens in particular are being closely monitored and teams remain on standby to support any parts of the borough that may experience flooding.”
Council staff and contractors have been put on standby for the weekend, and sandbags are being made up in readiness.
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