02:59AM, Monday 30 April 2012
Flood alerts have been issued across the south east as thunderstorms are expected tonight.
The Environment Agency has issued more than 30 flood alerts as rivers rise after heavy rainfall this weekend.
The agency spent the weekend clearing river screens, closing flood gates, operating flood storage areas and removing debris from known hotspots.
Flood alerts mean flooding is possible and warns people to be prepared, act on their flood plans and prepare a flood kit of essential items.
But although some areas have received up to 40mm of rain over the weekend, water companies have warned that it is not enough to help the drought which has led to a hosepipe ban across the region.
Veolia Water water resources manager Mike Pocock said: "The recent rainfall has been good for the environment and reduces demand for water. Unfortunately this rainfall is unlikely to replenish groundwater levels in our region."
"Following the unusually dry weather we have experienced over the past 24 months, we will need prolonged and substantial rainfall over next autumn and winter to recharge our aquifers and to move us out of a drought situation."
Monitor flood levels at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/riverlevels
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.