Flood warnings along River Thames in Surrey

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Media captionAerial footage of flooding in the Thames Valley area

Fresh flooding has hit towns and villages close to the River Thames in Surrey as river levels rise.

The Environment Agency has issued 12 flood warnings between Staines and Thames Ditton.

Levels are expected to rise further as rain that fell on saturated ground drains into the river system.

Communities along the River Thames should be prepared for further flooding over the next two to three days, the agency has said.

Vehicles towed from water

Howard Davidson, Environment Agency director for the South East, said: "We're paying close attention to the River Thames, particularly below Abingdon, through Berkshire and into Surrey."

He said warnings and alerts had been in place for several days and people should take appropriate action.

Surrey County Council has urged residents and drivers to check flood alerts and weather warnings over the next few days.

It said: "In particular, motorists are urged not to drive into flood water.

"The water hides dips in the road, or the road may even have been washed away. The car may stall or the driver lose control. It is not safe."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dozens of homes were flooded in Chertsey earlier in the week after the River Thames broke its banks

Earlier, Surrey Police said a number of vehicles had to be towed out of water on the A320 near Staines after motorists attempted to drive through.

Motorists also attempted to drive over Chertsey Bridge, which was also closed because of flooding.

Supt Chris Moon said: "I would urge drivers not to attempt to drive through the water."

"Two feet of water is enough to float a car," he added.

Some properties close to the river in East and West Molesey, Staines, Sunbury and Weybridge were also affected by flood water.

'We're done for'

Allegra Taylor, who lives on Sunbury Court Island, said the rising water level was causing real concern for residents.

She added: "It looks dreadful here and we're just praying that it doesn't get any higher because if it comes into the house we're really done for - everything precious to us is stacked up on the floors."

A flood warning has also been issued for the Chertsey Bourne at Chertsey where dozens of homes were flooded on Wednesday, forcing some residents to spend the night in a community centre in Shepperton.

Properties at the Abbey Fields caravan park were also surrounded by water from the River Thames.

Elmbridge Council has issued sandbags in vulnerable areas and posted flood advice on its website.

In a statement on its website, Spelthorne Council said it would be "focusing on the most vulnerable people and providing critical support".

Residents in Leatherhead have criticised the Environment Agency for not giving them enough notice ahead of flooding in December when the River Mole broke its banks.

Edward Tippelt, who lives in Cannon Grove, said: "We were given approximately three hours notice when the flood warning was issued by Environment Agency very, very late in the day.

"Had we had more warning we could have saved a few more items but at the end of the day, by about 11.30, 12 o'clock, the water started coming into the house and we had to just stand back and watch while the waters rose."

The Environment Agency said it had been working closely with partners to support communities affected by flooding.

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