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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 20:49 GMT 21:49 UK
River levels to peak overnight
The Swan in Great Shefford
Paul Johnson sent in this photo of The Swan in Great Shefford
Flood levels in Berkshire are due to peak early on Wednesday morning.

Tim Abbott, of the Environment Agency, said: "We are now expecting the Thames to peak in Pangbourne, Purley and the Reading area in the early hours."

In Reading and Caversham, high water levels are expected to be reached at about 0700 BST.

Reading Borough Council said river levels are unlikely to rise more than 12ins (0.3m), and the Kennet, Lambourn and Loddon are not expected to flood.

At the moment it is looking like any flooding will not be as bad as in 2003
Environment Agency

Mr Abbott added: "There could be flooding of some properties. Levels in Reading, however, are not expected to be anything like we have had in Oxfordshire.

"At the moment it is looking like any flooding will not be as bad as in 2003.

"Flood warnings (none of them "severe") have been in place in the area for a couple of days now so people should be prepared."

In Pangbourne, where 400 homes were hit by flooding at the weekend, residents were building up sandbag defences as a precaution against rising water levels.

Sandbags have also been stacked on the doorsteps of most low-lying houses in Purley.

Gordon Visgandis took this picture in Wokingham
Gordon Visgandis took this picture of a flooded car in Wokingham

Reading Borough Council said a further 8,000 sand bags had been distributed during Tuesday, bringing the total to 14,000 over the past two days.

Carol Hunt, 70, out walking her dogs near the river, said: "We are very relieved that Purley is not going to flood as badly as first feared."

In a statement, Reading Borough Council said: "Residents and businesses in affected areas are strongly advised to take all possible precautions against flooding now.

"It is expected that there will be disruption to travel over the next few days so plan your journey carefully and avoid all unnecessary travel in the area."

Schools in the town started their summer holidays early - with most breaking up on Monday to avoid the flooding.


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