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The River Thames

The River Thames at Windsor, November 2000

With Flooding Nationwide - Windsor watched and waited...

Click here for details of
the Enironment Agency Flood Warning system

Click for later flood information and photographs

Index to more River Thames stories

From Windsor Bridge 8th Nov 2000

The view from Windsor Bridge looking west.
The Promenade, from which the pleasure boats leave in the summer,
is now under approx. two feet of water. 8th November 2000


Following the major storms at the end of October, the River Thames at Windsor did not rise substantially. Indeed as I write (November 8th 2000) the river remains well below levels reached in past years.

Obviously there is much concern and discussion in the town about the 1947 Floods and we are fortunate to have G G Cullingham's authoritative account available here on The Royal Windsor Web Site. Residents can rest assured that, despite the rather dramatic terminology used by the Environment Agency to define the various flood warnings, at the present at least, property is under no immediate threat in the area of Windsor itself.

Baths Island with the Brunel Bridge beyond

View looking north towards Brunel's Railway Bridge.
In the forground, the channel that once formed Baths Island.
The main river is beyond. 8th Nov 2000. 11.00am

Promenade, railway arches and Fun Fair

Windsor Promenade looking towards the railway to Slough
and the Fun Fair by the arches
11.00am. 8th November 2000

View across the river to the Brocas and Eton

A grey sky and murky light as the river rises another 6"
11.00am. 8th November 2000

Diary of Events

Wednesday 8th November 2000

Radio reports advise that the river in Maidenhead (six miles upstream of Windsor) is expected to rise until 6.00pm this evening. Local roads in Maidenhead are already flooded adjacent to the river. However, the levels remain below the 1990 levels and are not currently expected to reach that peak reached ten years ago.

In Windsor, river levels remain below the previous peaks that residents have seen over the years and are well below the flood levels of 1947 where serious inundation of property occurred.

What the future holds for Windsor cannot be predicted but while land in the catchment area of the Thames remains waterlogged and unable to absorb further rainfall, continued wet weather could cause substantial run off and rises in the river level in the future.

Thursday 9th November 2000

The river rose slightly on Wednesday, perhaps 6", but remained stable overnight. The Environment Agency has retained its Severe Flood Warning for Maidenhead and Flood Warning for Windsor and reports that river levels will continue to rise. Wet weather is forecast for the coming weekend across Southern England and affecting the Thames Valley catchment area. The possibility exists that up to 5cms (almost 2") of rain will fall in the next few days.

Friday 10th November 2000

The river fell overnight to Wednesday's levels, or lower. The Environment Agency has downgraded its Severe Flood Warning for Maidenhead to a Flood Warning for the area and reports that river levels are falling or steady. Wet weather is forecast for the coming weekend across Southern England and affecting the Thames Valley catchment area. The possibility exists that up to 5cms (almost 2") of rain will fall in the next two days.

Monday 13th November 2000

The river is now falling and The Environment Agency have downgraded their alert level to Flood Watch. Wet weather affected the Thames Valley catchment area on Saturday but in many parts Sunday was clear and sunny.

One report of significance broadcast over the weekend included a suggestion that with the ground so waterlogged nationally, flooding could well be expected at any time throughout the winter. Obviously what is required is a long dry spell to allow the ground to dry out. Given that this has been the wettest autumn for perhaps 300 years, there are few optimists...!

An extract from 'The Windsor Floods of 1947'

There had been a minor flood in December, but nothing much except that the ground was becoming saturated, and the snow represented whole lakes of water if there was a sudden thaw. And there was. In addition, heavy rain fell on March 10th, followed by even heavier rain - nearly one inch (2.5 cm). On March 14th the thawing snows could not drain into the frozen ground and so the water continued down hill into the streams and rivers. These rose at an alarming rate - sometimes almost a foot (30 cm) an hour. Old hands prepared to visit relatives living on high ground. The Thames topped its banks on 14th March...

Further reading and pictures

Index to more River Thames stories

The Windsor Floods of 1947

The River in December 2000

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