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22nd March 2020

Environment Shropshire flooding ‘not over yet’ as River Severn level set to peak

Environment Shropshire flooding ‘not over yet’ as River Severn level set to peak

Environment

environment Swans gather on flooded riverside streets, following Storm Jorge, in WorcesterImage copyright
Reuters

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Swans gather on flooded riverside streets in Worcester

Flooding in areas along the River Severn “isn’t over yet”, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.

Homes were evacuated last week in Ironbridge, Shropshire, and in Bewdley, Worcestershire, after flood defences buckled.

Levels on the River Severn are expected to peak in Ironbridge on Monday night and will remain high for the next three to four days, the EA said.

Dave Throup, from the EA, warned people not to get “complacent”.

On Sunday, the Met Office revealed rainfall data indicated February was the wettest on record in the UK.

On average 202.1mm of rain fell last month, beating February 1990 when 193.4mm was recorded.

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Bewdley Bridge has been closed to vehicles

Mr Throup said that almost the whole length of the River Severn in England remained at flood warning level.

“All the water from the weekend is now in Shrewsbury, it’s worked its way downstream,” he said.

“We saw a peak overnight at Welsh bridge of 4.3m so that is a high level, but it’s almost a metre lower than last week so more manageable.

“But we don’t want people to get complacent, these are still very high flood levels.”

Later on Monday, Mr Throup said they were seeing “quite a strong rise” at Bewdley, but stressed it was still lower than last week.

“These are closer to winter flooding levels, but that does bring with it dangers,” he said.

“We’ve got a number of roads closed, difficult travel conditions, we’re not out of the woods, it’s going to take a good few days for these river levels to drop right out.”

Image copyright
Reuters

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The flooded rugby ground of Bridgnorth RFC is seen beside the swollen River Severn

Image copyright
Reuters

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“Herculean efforts” saw damaged flood defences in Ironbridge repaired in time for Storm Jorge

The temporary barriers in Ironbridge were pushed back by up to 6.6ft (2m) due to the force of the water on Wednesday, meaning water was able to seep beneath them.

Mr Throup said levels there were expected to peak overnight into Tuesday and then peak in Worcestershire on Tuesday night.

“The barriers there have been all checked, we’ve replaced the bits that got damaged or twisted, so they’re all good to go,” he said.

In Worcestershire, Eckington Bridge is closed but other roads in the area have opened.

Bewdley Bridge is closed to vehicles “due to river levels rising faster than anticipated”, the council said. It remains open to cyclists and pedestrians.

Meanwhile, river levels in flood-hit parts of East Yorkshire are “dropping very fast”, the EA said.

Image copyright
Environment Agency

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The Environment Agency worked through the night to clear drains

Herefordshire Council said it was waiving the need for a permit until 8 March for any residents with flood damaged items they want to dispose of.

Businesses in a Herefordshire village affected by the partial collapse of a road said there had been a drop in customer numbers.

The B4424 between Fownhope and Hereford has been closed since 17 February after a landslip.

A coach takes children to a primary school in the village, which is accessible via Ledbury and Ross on Wye, a diversion of 90 minutes for those coming in from elsewhere.

Local businesses said they urgently needed better signage and managed diversion routes.

Kevin Braybrook, who runs Bowens Bed and Breakfast, said he has had cancellations.

“We just need a speedy professional pro-active response about what we’re going to do about this road,” he said.

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