The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for south-east London, including Coulsdon, Kenley, Purley and South Croydon.
It is six years since the major flooding in Kenley and Purley, when emergency services had to work around the clock to protect vital infrastructure, and the pedestrian subway at Purley Cross was transformed into an underground lake to take up some of the floodwaters. The mopping up process took months.
This year has endured the wettest February on record, and now groundwater levels are peaking, with temporary streams such as the Caterham Bourne and Coulsdon Bourne are in flow once more.
The Environment Agency’s alert, issued yesterday afternoon, states, “Flooding is possible for: Areas at risk from Groundwater flooding including Caterham Bourne, Coulsdon Bourne, Beddington, Carshalton, Coulsdon, Kenley, Purley, South Croydon, Whyteleafe, Bromley, Bexley and Lewisham.
“Groundwater levels in East Surrey and South London have been rising throughout the winter following higher than average rainfall. Since mid-February, levels have increased rapidly in response to rainfall received during Storms Ciara and Dennis.
“We expect properties with deep basements in Dale Road and Godstone Road in Purley will start flooding imminently. However, due to the nature of groundwater flooding, other properties may also experience flooding too.
“The Caterham Bourne between Woldingham and Purley is now flowing but remains in channel and is not currently increasing flood risk.
“Further rainfall could cause groundwater levels to rise further.
“The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation alongside Surrey County Council, Tandridge District Council and the London Borough of Croydon. We will update this message by Tuesday 3 March, or sooner if the situation changes.”
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