[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
Homes escape predicted flooding
Floods in Pangbourne. Taken by Phill Nederend
Homes in Pangbourne were flooded at the weekend (by Phill Nederend)
River levels in Berkshire stabilised overnight and the Environment Agency said there is little chance they will increase again.

It had been thought that some homes in Reading and other towns further down the River Thames could have been flooded late on Wednesday night.

The agency said this is now unlikely to happen. The borough council will shut its emergency flood centre at 2000 BST.

Some roads were flooded after levels in the Thames rose by about 1ft (30cm).

However, the predicted river surge, expected at midnight, never materialised, even though the River Thames did burst its banks.

The Environment Agency said the river had reached its highest levels without causing any damage to homes.

Kate Webb photographed a dog needing help in Woolhampton
Kate Webb photographed a dog needing help in Woolhampton

But the agency added that flood warnings remain in force for Reading, Purley, Pangbourne, Mapledurham, Caversham, Wargrave and Henley.

However, the warnings for Cookham in Maidenhead, Datchet in Slough and Wraysbury, have now been downgraded to a flood watch.

A spokesman for the agency said: "The Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation scheme - which includes the Jubilee River and Cookham flood defences - is operating to protect these towns from flooding and will continue to protect these towns for the duration of this flood event."

A spokesman for Reading Borough Council explained their emergency flood centre would now close "as the Environment Agency advised them that the levels in the Thames have stabilised and are not predicted to rise any further".

The borough council said it would would continue to answer all requests for assistance on their 24-hour service line.

Over the weekend, 400 homes were flooded in Pangbourne by the River Pang.

Homes were also hit in Charvil when the River Loddon burst its banks, after already flooding homes in Winnersh.

West Berkshire Council has warned its residents to beware of bogus callers following reports of people posing as "council environmental health officers" knocking on doors in the Thatcham area and asking for access to check on contamination.

Reading Borough Council 24-hour service line number: 01189390900


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific