River Thames in Flood

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River Thames in Flood

  • It was sunny this morning for the first time in many days but bird watching on my local patch was out of the question. Instead, I went to Hambleden Weir on the River Thames just downstream of Henley-on-Thames to see what the state of the river was like. We've had a tremendous amount of rain in Southern England so it was no surprise to to find the river in full spate. Hambleden is one of the few weirs that you can walk across because it's a public footpath which links the Buckinghamshire side to the Berkshire side.

    Here's a video of what I saw. It's just a sequence of panning shots as I traversed the weir which have only had minimal editing. I think it gives you an impression of the huge volumes of water flowing down the river.

  • Thank you, TeeJay, for posting this video. I found it very interesting. Few things are more powerful than a river in flood stage. I hope you all keep safe in the ongoing dangerous conditions!

  • That was fascinating viewing, TeeJay - I hope the water doesn't get any higher than that.

  • Very interesting. I start work at 12-00 tomorrow. I'll go up to the roof and film the surrounding area. I'm somewhat further downstream in Kingston, but the water is considerably higher in the Hogsmill and small tributaries. I haven't paid much attention to the Thames.

  • Too scary TJ, so powerful but I hope it doesn't get worse.   Great video tho.   PS Did the spaniel get back in OK?

  • Now there's a question.

  • I remember the Thames flooding every year when I was a child - but it was usually caused by snow melt rather than rain.

  • Is that the weir near the rowing club that has the Salmon run at the side of it, if so I know the exact spot as we have gone there a few times Red Kite spotting? That really shows the flood waters we have had down south the local River Mole got to its record highest according to the enviroment agency.

  • Sadly I can't view the video on my iPad, probably due to Apple not allowing Flash Player etc, will have to dust off the laptop to watch it. However Tony I did view your Flicker photos and they are beautiful, real works of art.Superb stuff, sir. :-))

  • Diane: You don't post very often outside the LG Group so it's nice to hear from you. Compared to the big rivers you have in the States the Thames is just a small stream. Even so when it's in flood it can be quite impressive. Not much fun for the householders whose homes are inundated though.

    Clare: The river is expected to continue to rise over the next few days as all this floodwater works it's way downstream. I've heard this morning of properties being flooded in Oxford, Reading, Cookham and Windsor.

    MC: If you get the chance take a look at the Thames at Molesey or Teddington (the tidal limit). It should be quite impressive. The Hogsmill is probably backing up because of the high levels in the Thames.

    gaynorsl: I didn't wait to find out. His ownwer said he loved a swim so I'm sure he was just fine.

    Alan: No, I used a Canon bridge camera. I find it's easier to use for videoing than the 7D

    b_r_n: Don't forget the Thames Barrier is only used when there's a tidal surge. The gates would only be shut for a few hours at the peak of the tide. The distance between Teddington (the tidal limit) and the Thames Barrier is quite large. Admittedly, the River Lee also discharges into this stretch as well  but I suspect the storage capacity of this stretch is such that a temporary holding back of the flow would not be a major issue.

    OG: No disrespect but I suspect your memory is playing you tricks. I've lived and worked (including for the River Authority) in and around the Thames Valley all my life. I don't think there's been more than a handful of occasions (if that) when snow melt has been a significant factor in flooding. The year of 1947 was the big one. Snow lay over the whole catchment for several months. In March of that year there was a rpid thaw accompanied by heavy rain. It's the yardstick by which all Thames flood are measured.

    Shane: There are fish passes on all the Thames weirs so I'm not sure if Hambleden is the one you are referring to. There is a boat yard at Mill end so it could well be but most of the rowing clubs are in and around Henley so it could equally be Marsh lock which is closer to Henley.

    Davenboy: Sorry you couldn't view the video; it was nothing special but just gives an impression of the flood. Thanks for your kind words about my photos on Flickr. I try but I'm only an amateur.

  • Cheers Tony, it was the one at Henley with some lovely houses besides it I guess loads of those were flooded out such a shame :-(

  • The Thames between Hampton Court and Kingston is pretty high - the Thames path on the north bank can just have the word "path" deleted along some stretches ;-) No photos as this is the work computer...

  • I took these photos today. Looking at the far bank where the Police horses are grazing, I should have gone to the roof a few days back because it looks like most of that area would have been under water.

    From Kingston towards AIT Island

    Across Bushy Park

    The far bank seems to have been washed away at this point. No wonder the Swans look confused!

    Further evidence of 'overspill' if that's an appropriate description

    The river was moving at quite a rate, as you can tell.

  • Oh my goodness TJ,  that is fast flowing and terribly high, I do hope folk keep safe and escape the worst of it, this video clip and photos really brings home the power that nature has.

  • In my area where the River Thames is only 3 miles old it is normally about 5 foot wide.  I mentioned on one post the other day that in places it was 50 yards wide over the floodplain.  The river height in our area is still going up as water drains into it from various Cotswold streams. That water has yet to make its  way down stream.  I hope it comes down slowly.

    There is a NNR near me on that floodplain which holds one of the country's most important population of snakeshead fritillary.  It is by its nature a wet meadow  and used to some flooding but after last year's floods very few flowers were produced.  It is now likely to be under 6 feet of water for several weeks.  I just hope these flowers aren't lost.