Kennet Towpath, just under Pell Street Bridge, February 2014

Kennet Towpath, just under Pell Street Bridge, February 2014

Between a quarter and a half of Katesgrove, as well as parts of Redlands and the Whiteknights university campus, are susceptible to groundwater flooding according to Reading Borough Council (RBC) statistics. The UK Environment Agency (EA) has identified areas at risk near the Kennet such as Waterloo Meadows, Elgar Road, Katesgrove Lane, Mill Lane and Queens Road .

The EA has launched a campaign to encourage home and business owners to assess their own flood risk and make preparations. Reading Borough Council has a FAQ to help residents deal with the problem.

The EA says (about the entire UK, not just Reading) :

The winter of 2013 to 2014 was the wettest in England for nearly 250 years and around 11,000 residential and commercial properties flooded.

The EA encourages people to follow their three steps to help prepare for flooding :

  1. Use the Environment Agency’s maps to find out if you’re at risk from flooding.
  2. Sign up for free flood warnings for your area.
  3. Create a flood plan. Read the personal or business flood plan guidance.
County Lock, 13 February 2014

County Lock, February 2014

The threat of flooding in Reading is not new, of course. The Loddon Bridge park & ride and nearby roundabout on the Wokingham Road becomes an impromptu duckpond on a regular basis. Other areas prone to frequent flooding include the Thames river front, especially in Caversham, the Coley water meadows near the A33 and the lowest parts of the Oracle shopping centre by the Kennet. Even parts of Whitley Wood and the junction with the M4 are struck from time to time. Reading was disrupted by flooding in 2003, 2007, 2012, and again in 2014.

  1. Floods Destroy. Be Prepared (UK government)
  2. Reading flood map (UK environment agency)
  3. Flood emergency planning (Reading Borough Council)
  4. Flood Aware (UK government Twitter campaign)