Worst winter storms for 20 years will see further disruption in London


The River Thames burst its banks at Henley

The River Thames burst its banks at Henley

London was struck by gale force winds again today, as the country’s worst winter storms in 20 years continued to ravage the capital.

Wind speeds of over 40mph and heavy rain battered commuters this morning and further high winds are on the way.

The Thames Barrier, crossing the river at Greenwich, has remained closed for the last 11 days, to protect London from the tidal surges that have wreaked havoc on many seaside towns.

The Environment Agency has issued a total of 106 flood warnings, including three severe flood warnings, while a further 236 areas have been placed on flood alert.

Flooding Thames Barrier Greenwich

The Thames Barrier has now been closed for 11 consecutive days

Meanwhile, a brouhaha is developing over the government’s proposed cuts to budgets at the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra).

Anne McIntosh, a Conservative MP and chairman of the Commons environmental select committee, said that the cuts would compromise the department’s ability to respond in a crisis and described the country as being in the “eye of an emergency”.

She said: “Recent flooding events reinforce our concerns about cuts to the Defra budget. It is a small ministry facing massive cuts.” 

“Ministers must clarify how further budgets will impact on … the ability of the department to respond to emergencies.

She added: “It is remarkable that the current flood defences have held against the force of the substantial and sustained recent battering.”

Twitter users uploaded photographs of the storm damage:

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