As river levels on the Thames start to fall, work is under way to help communities get back on their feet.
Residents who are wondering what to do with their sandbags are assured that they are welcome to keep them for future use. It is not advisable to store wet ones, but dry ones are fine.
Residents who are ready, able and willing to dispose of their own sandbags are encouraged to do so. This can be done free of charge at community recycling centres.
And at two recycling centres it is possible to exchange wet sandbags for dry ones. The centres are:
Martyrs Lane Community Recycling Centre, Woking GU21 5NJ
Charlton Lane Community Recycling Centre, Shepperton TW17 8QA
Opening hours for both are:
Monday to Friday 8am till 4.15pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am till 4.15pm
When handling wet sandbags advice is to wear rubber gloves, not split the bags open and wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
Householders who are unable to dispose of and collect sandbags themselves will be offered support with the help of volunteers.
If necessary, the borough and district councils will be co-ordinating skips for residents to dispose of flood-damaged possessions, and the county council is waiving the usual requirement to obtain a licence for this purpose.
As the waters recede, Surrey County Council’s highways team is inspecting the affected roads, making them safe and repairing any damage. They urge residents to report any damage they see as soon as possible on the council website here.
For those returning home after leaving a flooded property there is plenty of information and guidance on the Surrey County Council and borough council websites. They can also get face-to-face guidance from advisers at the Flood Recovery Centres. In particular, people whose homes have been flooded should contact their power company before attempting to use their gas and electricity.
Surrey Police would like to reassure residents that whatever the weather it remains fully resourced to ensure patrols in affected areas.
Advice on what to do after flooding can be found on the Environment Agency and Public Health England websites. Residents whose insurance policies cover flooding should contact their insurers at the earliest possible opportunity.
Public Health England is advising people across the country that it is sensible to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with floodwater, and seek GP advice or call the NHS helpline on 111 if they feel ill.
Information about the highways network, including road closures, can be found on the highways section of Surrey County Council’s website.
People are urged to continue checking on any vulnerable neighbours they think may need help. For more information on adult social care, visit the county council’s website.