Spring Tides Catch Out Motorists

Published: 27/03/2024 By Allan Fuller

The time-honoured Putney tradition of motorists getting caught by flooding on the Embankment continued last week with several cars finding themselves inundated. 

Despite a number of warning signs, people still regularly found themselves getting a shock after they thought they had parked perfectly safely.

There is further potential for flooding towards the end of the month before exceptionally high tides are expected in the days around Thursday, 11th April.

The above should be taken as indicative as a number of factors can change when the tides are particularly high including the strength of the river flow, rainfall and the Thames Barrier.

Where does the river end and the Embankment begin? Picture: Victoria Nicholson

Flooding generally occurs during ‘spring tides’ which have nothing to do with the season but happen twice a month depending on the phase of the Moon. Confusingly some of the highest tides do occur during the Spring months.

The AA advises not driving a car that may have had water damage. If you do switch on the engine, a fast cranking sound or whirring when you turn the key in the ignition is an indication that water has got into the engine, as is an abnormally strong smell of petrol, especially near the exhaust pipe.