A flood alert means “Flooding is possible. Be prepared.” The water was particularly high yesterday as pictured by a Haymarket employee:
Photo: Carl Price.
Although the river was lower during daylight today (after early morning 4am peak), a big high tide is predicted for 5:30pm today and along with a 80 cubic metres a second river flow over the weir, towpaths could be flooded between Teddington and Richmond (currently already under water as they regularly are near Richmond railway Bridge) and also in the other direction towards Kingston/Molesey.
The river condition warning “caution stream increasing” was issued by Teddington Lock at midday today – these warnings help river users with their navigation of the river.
These high tides will be in start contrast to the annual draw-off, this year taking place from the 27th October to the 9th December (longer than usual). During this time the weirs at Richmond will remain open so that river levels drop, enabling essential maintenance work to be carried out along the stretch of river between Teddington and Richmond.
As well as lock maintenance, experts also survey the riverbed to record any invasive (non-native) species that are found. Boat-owners should be aware that they may need to move to more suitable moorings and ensure that navigation is taken with great care as the river bed will be occasionally exposed.