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Glass barriers on the Thames are going to shield London from future floods

Following last week’s thunderstorms and flash flooding

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

After thunderstorms caused flash flooding across much of London last week, a proposal has been revealed to build a protective glass wall to shield the capital from future flooding. Sounds quite Avengers-y. But unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is real.

The one-metre tall wall, built along one section of the Thames, would be made of glass to avoid blocking light. It’s an emergency measure to prevent mass loss of life and property damage from future flash flooding.  

The Environment Secretary George Eustice told the Evening Standard:

'We are standing by communities and bolstering defences with record investment, with more than £54 million being spent in London this year alone. This investment will support the delivery of more than 50 flood schemes to tackle all forms of flooding.'

Last week’s flooding in London largely occurred due to rainwater from the surface overwhelming drainage systems. The proposed wall would combat a different flooding threat: that of the Thames bursting its banks.

As climate change brings the increased likelihood of adverse weather events, sudden downpours could become more frequent and more intense. 

The Thames Barrier is currently London’s best flood defence, protecting against tidal surges from the North Sea. However, should sea levels rise as predicted (by one metre by 2100), London will need more substantial flood defences. So bring on the wall! 

The City of London Corporation is running a public consultation on riverside strategy. Have your say here.

If the Thames bursts, these areas of London might be underwater

Why is London flooding so much?  

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