Flood warnings in place across the South East

Flooding in Copthorne Image copyright Gavin Hoey
Image caption Flooding hit the centre of Copthorne in West Sussex

Flooding is expected to cause more disruption as some river levels continue to rise in south-east England, the Environment Agency has warned.

The Environment Agency warned properties at Pulborough, West Sussex, were at risk as levels in the River Arun continued to rise overnight.

Flooding has severely disrupted road and rail services for commuters in south-east England.

The Balcombe Tunnel flooded, disrupting trains between London and Brighton.

Drivers are facing road closures in Kent, Sussex and Surrey due to flooding.

The Met Office said throughout Friday showers formed a line across a narrow area in the South East.

A spokesman said: "Our weather station at Charlwood in Surrey recorded 36.8mm of rain between 9am yesterday [Thursday] and 9am this morning [Friday] , whereas Shoreham Airport further to the south saw just 3.4mm."

The Environment Agency issued a flood warning for Gatwick Airport as water levels on the River Mole and Gatwick Stream threatened to rise as more rain was forecast for Friday night.

The agency said levels on the River Mole at Leatherhead and Fetcham in Surrey continued to "rise significantly" with flooding of property "to be expected".

Storm repair help

Numerous flights were cancelled at the airport after electricity sub-stations flooded on Christmas Eve.

But an airport spokesman said Gatwick was operating normally on Friday.

He said sandbags had been put in place around three sub-stations, with water pumps on hand and firefighters from the station on the site put on standby with pumping equipment.

The recent flood and storm damage has led to English and Welsh councils asking the government for help with the estimated £400m repair bill.

The government has announced £7m in extra aid to local authorities for storm repairs.

Heavy rain fell in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent overnight, forcing Environment Agency staff to work overnight to keep watercourses clear.

'Travel early'

Southern Rail said delays and cancellations could still happen but the service between East Grinstead and Hurst Green had resumed.

There were also no train services running between Tonbridge in Kent and Redhill in Surrey.

Southern tickets are being accepted on Southeastern and First Capital Connect services.

Southeastern said there were alterations and cancellations on some Kent routes, with cancellations between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells due to a landslip near Wadhurst.

Image copyright Marcia Moore
Image caption High water levels greeted residents in Runnymede in Surrey
Image caption The A23 was closed in both directions because of flooding
Image copyright Neil McKenna
Image caption The A25 in Sundridge was one of the areas in west Kent to be affected
Image copyright @DesmondTootToot
Image caption Queues formed at railway stations in Sussex as people awaited replacement services
Image copyright Amy Johanna Black
Image caption There were no rail services between Haywards Heath and Three Bridges earlier

Flooding in the Balcombe Tunnel meant there were no services between Haywards Heath and Three Bridges in either direction earlier.

More than 70 million journeys a year are made on the main London to Brighton line, with 2,500 trains passing through the Balcombe Tunnel each week.

Earlier flooding on the A23 in Sussex closed the road between Bolney and Pease Pottage.

The Balcombe Tunnel and the A23 have since reopened.

Train passenger Barbara Groom, who was stuck on the Brighton line, said: "We were told by rail staff to call our bosses and tell them we can't get to work."

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Media captionSundridge High Street has been turned into a tributary of the River Darent

Graham Day, from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said crews had rescued seven people, including a child, from vehicles in west Kent.

Water had been pumped out of 18 properties, he added.

Sussex Police said some drivers had ignored warning signs and become stuck after driving into water.

A spokeswoman from Lewes Crown Court said problems on the roads and rail had caused a number of cases to be adjourned.


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The Environment Agency has issued 11 flood warnings for parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

It said "immediate action" was required for people to protect their homes.

Image caption High groundwater levels mean flooding is more likely.

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