Update on the operation of the Jubilee River. 29th December 2020

Published: 31 December 2020


Overnight from 23 to 24 December we received up to 55mm of rainfall at various locations throughout the river Thames catchment. We then had another wet night from Storm Bella on 26 to 27 December.

This fell on already saturated ground following a wet month in which the south east of England had already received 113% of its average monthly rainfall by 22 December. Rivers in the Thames catchment have responded to this rainfall and we have seen flows moving steadily downstream triggering Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings

We issued a Flood Alert for the River Thames from Maidenhead to Windsor and Eton on 26 December. Reduced rainfall over the 28 and 29 December has provided some respite, and the forecast over the next few days is favourable, however the Thames is still reacting to water from the upper catchment and tributaries.

Current Situation – Operating the Jubilee River

We are not expecting property flooding in the Maidenhead area at this time. We are carefully monitoring flows on the river Thames and we expect them to continue to rise as the flood water from the upper catchment makes its way downstream.

We are now operating the Jubilee River to help manage flows along this stretch. On the 27 December we started to send flow down the Jubilee River. Over the last few days we have made progressive gate movements and currently 50 cubic metres per second are being diverted down the relief channel. We are closely monitoring the river levels in the river Thames and will make further adjustments as necessary.

Repair work on the Jubilee River

There has recently been repair work at Black Potts Weir which is at the end of the Jubilee River (Windsor and Maidenhead Flood Alleviation Scheme). A recent survey of the weir highlighted the presence of extensive scour on the downstream end of the weir.

We have been carrying out emergency repair works to the weir which have reached a stage where we can now safely operate the Jubilee River. The amount of flow we pass down the Jubilee River will be determined by the level of flood risk to people and property and the safety of the weir and railway viaduct.

What else are we doing?

Our virtual incident room remains open and operating around the clock to monitor rainfall and river levels. Our community information officers are out and about across affected areas including Maidenhead, to reassure communities that we are aware and responding to this current flood risk. Our operational staff are working to ensure water can flow through the catchment as well as possible and reduce the risk of flooding.

How can I find out more?

Follow us on Twitter @EnvAgencySE

If you live near the Jubilee River, sign up to Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188

Stay tuned to local news and social media channels

See which warnings are in force please visit our https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings