Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is reminding people to be careful ahead of heavy rain forecast across the South of England.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning across Berkshire for rain on Thursday (4 January) and Friday (5 January). RBFRS is asking residents to stay #WeatherAware and take extra care when travelling during this period.
Pete Skinner, Group Manager, said: “Heavy rain and flash flooding can catch people out. Please take extra care if you must travel during this time. Standing water on roads is especially dangerous for motorists and should be avoided as much as possible. If a road is completely flooded, do not attempt to drive through.
“Similarly, do not attempt to cross fords after periods of heavy rain. Higher water levels at crossings have in the past resulted in several unfortunate drivers getting trapped and needing rescue.
“Riverbanks can also become unstable following heavy rain. Avoid walking near rivers or lakes if water levels are high and, if your journey does take you near water, watch your step and stay as far from the water’s edge as you can.
“If you see someone in difficulty in the water, ‘Call, Tell and Throw – Call 999, tell the person to float on their back and, if available throw something to them to help them float.”
To stay safe during wet weather, remember:
- Do not drive through flood water – just 30cm of moving flood water is enough to make your car float and potentially move you into deeper water where you could become stranded.
- Do not move or ignore road closures signs or attempt to drive through deep water or fords after periods of heavy rain – the signs are there for your safety, so please do not ignore them.
- Remember to give road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual – they are more likely to be blown around by side winds, so keep your speed down and always keep a safe distance.
- Give yourself more time to react while driving – reduced visibility and wet roads will increase your stopping distance.
- Avoid walking near rivers or lakes if water levels are high and, if your journey does take you near water, watch your step and stay as far from the water’s edge as you can – heavy rain, riverbanks can become unstable.
- Look out for trip or slip hazards – pay attention to your footing and avoid walking or running next to water if levels are high.
If available for your neighbourhood, sign up for free flood warning messages from the Environment Agency’s Floodline: 0345 988 1188 or online.
For the latest information on weather warnings, visit the MetOffice website.