The Dartford and Thames Barriers were closed from this morning (January 4) to defend against a high tide in London.
The Environment Agency closed the barriers to protect the capital.
The Thames Barrier was closed from 10.40am this morning
It ensures that river levels are “safely contained” within London’s tidal river walls and Thames Estuary tidal defences.
The Thames Barrier will reopen at 4 p.m.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: ‘We have closed the Thames Barrier, Barking Barrier and Dartford Creek Barrier, due to high tide, to ensure that water levels the river are safely contained within the tidal river walls of London and the tidal defenses of the Thames Estuary.
“We are constantly monitoring the tidal conditions and will react if necessary.”
Alan Flood Forecaster, who works for the Environmental Agency, tweeted (@AlanBarrierEA): “The #ThamesBarrier is closing today.
“Due to a combination of high tide and a forecast tidal surge, we are closing the 520m flood barrier from approximately 10.40am this morning.
“This will be the 202nd time we have protected #London from tidal flooding in almost 40 years.
“In addition to the #ThamesBarrier, our teams will also be closing the Dartford Creek Barrier and the Barking Barrier, protecting properties on the tidal Darent River and the Roding River.
“We are aiming to reopen the #ThamesBarrier around 4:00 p.m.
“Today’s closure is due to a low pressure system moving across the north coast of Scotland overnight.
“This has created a healthy tidal surge, which combined with spring tides will generate a high tide in the #Thames Estuary.
“The #ThamesBarrier is now closed.
“It will remain closed until about 4:00 p.m. once the tide has turned and the levels on either side have equalized.”
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