Woolwich Thames Barrier Closed Due To Flood Warnings

The Thames Barrier is being closed for the 200th time today (Thursday 21 October) to help protect London from potential flooding.

Barrier being closed to protect London from a high tide as a result of low pressure and northerly winds coinciding with spring tides

The Environment Agency is closing the barrier to protect London from a high tide as a result of low pressure and northerly winds coinciding with spring tides. Closure of the barrier will reduce the risk of flooding for up to 640,000 properties in London and along the Thames.

Charlotte Wood, the Environment Agency’s London Area Director, said:

The Thames Estuary 2100 Plan is internationally recognised as a leading example of climate change adaptation and the 200th closure of the Thames Barrier marks another significant milestone as we continue to adapt to a changing climate. Our collaboration with councils, communities, businesses and NGOs is vital as we continue to better protect people and properties from flooding, as well as providing the opportunity to reshape our riversides and adapt to climate change.

The Thames Barrier is made up of 10 steel gates spanning 520 metres (1,706 feet) across the River Thames near Woolwich. Until today and since it became operational in 1982, it has closed on 199 occasions, 110 times to protect against tidal flooding and 89 times to protect against combined sea and river flooding. Each gate takes 10 to 15 minutes to close (one-and-a-half hours for total closure of the barrier), and the control room is manned 24 hours a day, every day of the year.


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