Thames out after wettest January in England
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After the wettest January in England since 1766, the River Thames on Monday burst its banks having reached its highest level in years, flooding riverside towns upstream of London. Many residents were evacuated from their homes, while other homeowners attempted to protect their properties with sandbags. The UK's Environment Agency has issued 14 severe flood warnings -- meaning there's a danger to life -- along the Thames east of Windsor, 20 miles from London. However, there were no flood alerts for the part of the river that flows through London, as that stretch is protected by the Thames Barrier, a series of giant metal gates downstream of central London that can be closed against tidal surges.