Heavy rain forecast in Leatherhead - flood risk forces charity to leave HQ

The River Mole has burst its banks more than once this month

The River Mole has burst its banks more than once this month

First published in News
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With heavy rain tonight bringing possible flooding to Leatherhead a charity has given up on its flood-prone headquarters.

Homeless centre Pitstop said today it has decided to move from its current home of 15 years at Leatherhead Football Club’s Fetcham Grove ground because of the flood risk.

A flood alert remains in place for the River Mole with the Met Office warning of rain and strong gales until 3pm tomorrow.

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Yesterday the river burst its banks once again with water submerging the base of a memorial fountain and parts of the crematorium in Randalls Road.

A spokesman for Dignity, which runs Randalls Park Crematorium, said: "The river burst its banks yesterday but only by 6-7 ft. The water quickly receded. At present all memorials are accessible."

At 10.30 am today the river level in Leatherhead stood at 2.07 metres, within the typical range, down from 2.71 metres yesterday.

Flooding becomes possible at 2.4 metres. Graham Peddie, co-ordinator at Pitshop drop-in centre, today said: "It will flood again if the river bursts its banks. That’s why we are looking for a place on higher ground."

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Pitstop has been operating out of Fetcham Village Hall after floods wrecked the centre on Christmas Eve. It plans to move permanently but may return to the football club on a temporary basis.

He said: "Fifteen years of dedication, volunteering and money went that way. Personally I feel very upset because of all that work."

A River Mole flood alert, updated at 10.30am, said: "River levels remain high at Cobham but have now peaked. Levels have fallen in most other places.

"This alert remains in force as there is further rain forecast for Friday afternoon and overnight.

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"Catchments are responsive to rainfall and therefore we are likely to see a return to flooding of low lying land and roads throughout the area again, tonight and tomorrow."

A Met Office warning said: "The heavy rain will be accompanied by strong to gale force winds. The public should be aware of possible disruption, primarily due to further flooding, chiefly in areas already, or recently, affected."

Mole Valley District Council said there is a limited number of sandbags available for residents at Park House in Randalls Road, Leatherhead.

For more information call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 173490

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