River Thames bursts its banks leaving London waterfronts swamped

River Thames bursts banks high spring tide

A number of waterfronts across London found themselves submerged after an unusually high tide saw the River Thames burst its banks.

According to the Evening Standard, raised water levels left waterfront walkways in Greenwich swamped, while in central London waves were creeping up Bankside outside the Tate Modern.

A number of locals took to Twitter to share pictures of the scenes.

According to City AM, the Environment Agency issued a flood alert for the Thames on Friday for the next few days, warning that riverside properties from Putney Bridge to Teddington Weir could be affected.

And the Thames Barrier forecasting and response team also warned on Friday about the first of a number of "very high tides" in London.

The paper adds that the chances of London being flooded appear to be growing.

The Thames Barrier is sometimes closed as a way of protecting against tidal or river flooding, and so far up to March 2014 there has been 65 closures.

Some of London's most iconic landmarks are on the Environment Agency's "at risk" list, including the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall, City Hall, Canary Wharf, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Kew Gardens and the O2 Arena.

On its website, the Government explains: "The Environment Agency operates the Thames Barrier every month for maintenance and testing. Once a year, they also test the barrier at a high spring tide (normally September or October).

"The Environment Agency receives information on potential tidal surges from weather satellites, oil rigs, weather ships and coastal stations. They can forecast dangerous conditions up to 36 hours in advance, and will close the barrier just after low tide, or about 4 hours before the peak of the incoming surge tide reaches the barrier.

"They get information from a range of mathematical computer models that forecast expected sea and river levels. This is supplemented by data from the Met Office and real-time information provided by the UK National Tidegauge Network. This hydrological and meteorological data is fed into the control room every minute from a wide network of tide, river, pressure and wind gauges.

"The decision to close, or not, is based on a combination of 3 major factors: the height of the tide (usually a spring tide) measured at the Thames Estuary; the height of the tidal surge, which naturally accompanies each tide; the river flow entering the tidal Thames, measured as it passes over Teddington Weir."

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River Thames bursts its banks leaving London waterfronts swamped

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