May 24, 2024


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Celebrity homes threatened by River Thames flooding

Debbie McGee, Ricky Gervais posing for a photo in front of a lake: MailOnline logo

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They would have chosen the locations along the River Thames for their idyllic views and tranquil setting.

But celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, Debbie McGee, Russell Brand and George Clooney who live next to the river in Berkshire and Oxfordshire will be fretting over their homes as they are threatened by rising water levels.

The Environment Agency has 16 flood warnings in place for the Thames saying that flooding is ‘expected’ with ‘immediate action required’ after it burst its banks – while there are also a further 18 less serious flood alerts.  

Among the homes threatened is the UK residence of actor Clooney and his lawyer wife Amal, whose Grade II-listed mansion sits on an island in the Thames which has again become very small after the river burst its banks.

The couple’s £12million home is in an area notorious for flooding, although the house itself is raised above the garden, so would appear to be in little danger despite the garden and a basketball court being swamped.

The garden of McGee’s £2.5million home has also been deluged, with water surrounding the property where her late husband Paul Daniels installed floodgates and water pumps to defend it after major flooding in 2003.

In addition, comedian Brand’s £3.3million thatched cottage looked under threat today, with water perilously close to the home which appears to be on a much higher level than the now-underwater garden. 

Water was also approaching the £2.75million riverside house owned by Gervais and his partner Jane Fallon, although the danger seemed less severe and a tennis court in the rear garden did not appear to be under threat.

It comes as Bitter winds from the Baltic and Scandinavia are bringing ‘dangerous’ blizzards and sub-zero temperatures to Britain for at least six days from today along with yet more heavy rain over already-deluged areas.

Yorkshire and the North East of England will today bear the brunt of the downpours before ice and snow are forecast to follow, hitting the eastern side of the country and reaching London and the south coast by Sunday. 

South East England is under an 85-hour snow warning from 11pm tomorrow until 12pm Wednesday – while the heaviest blizzards are expected in Suffolk, Essex and Kent on Sunday where an amber warning has been issued.  

Up to 8in (20cm) could fall in the worst-hit areas on Sunday alone and 50mph wind gusts are expected. It would also be the second time London has been hit by snow in the past fortnight, after flurries fell on January 24.

The cold front, dubbed the ‘Beast from the Baltic’, could put vulnerable people at risk amid concerns it might slow down the coronavirus vaccinations rollout, especially in Scotland which has already been enduring heavy snow.

Drifting snow in the Highlands trapped 20 vehicles including lorries, a bus and cars on the A835 between Ullapool and Garve this morning, with dramatic photographs showing cars almost completely covered by the blizzards.

About 40 drivers were rescued from at Loch Dorma in Wester Ross after becoming stranded in 6ft 7in (2m) snow drifts. Highland Council said emergency centres were set up and told motorists: ‘Do not travel in this area.’

Elsewhere the A85 was closed west of Methven in Perth and Kinross due to flooding, and trains could not run on the Highland Mainline between Dalwhinnie and Inverness despite plough trains being used to clear snow.

Meanwhile about 100 properties were without power due to supply faults in Skye, Lewis, Sutherland and near Inverness, as Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks engineers worked to fix the problems.

The wintry conditions have swept into the UK following an easterly airflow arriving from Scandinavia – and the Met Office said flurries will move southwards, bringing ‘a chance of heavier snow for a time in the South’.

The Midlands and South East are ‘most likely to see disruptive snow accumulating more widely’ from late tomorrow until mid-Sunday. Up to 6in (15cm) of snow could fall on high ground and 4in (10cm) at lower levels.

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