Storm Dennis: Fears for Severn towns amid fresh flood warnings

storm dennis fears for severn towns amid fresh flood warnings - Storm Dennis: Fears for Severn towns amid fresh flood warningsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Homes on the banks of the River Severn have been evacuated as officials fear the Ironbridge barrier could be breached by flooding

Homes along the River Severn in Shropshire have been evacuated, amid fears that flood barriers could be breached in the coming hours.

Houses and a pub near Ironbridge have been submerged by rising waters and the pressure has cracked road surfaces.

Around the UK, more than 150 flood warnings remain in place, including six severe – or “danger to life” – warnings.

The River Wye at Monmouth, in Wales, has reached its highest recorded level.

Among the worst affected areas are south Wales, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, where major incidents have been declared.

West Mercia Police said an estimated 384 properties have been “significantly impacted” by flooding in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Water levels are expected to rise in Bewdley, Worcestershire, and there are concerns it could flow around one of the local flood barriers at Beales Corner.

Currently, there are six severe flood warnings in England, covering the rivers Lugg, Severn, and Wye.

More rain is expected in parts of the UK later this week, with three yellow Met Office weather warnings issued for north and south Wales and north-west England for Wednesday evening.

The latest severe flood warning – for the River Severn in Telford, Shropshire – prompted the evacuation of homes in Ironbridge on Tuesday morning.

River levels are peaking tonight, according to the latest update from Telford and Wrekin Council.

Local resident Carol Calcutt told BBC Radio Shropshire the Boat Inn pub by the river front in nearby Jackfield was now submerged in water.

“Practically just the roof showing there now,” she said.

Image copyright Liam Ball

A care home and surrounding properties in Whitchurch, Herefordshire, were also evacuated after they were overcome by floods, local fire services said.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption A woman was lifted to safety by rescue workers as floodwater surrounded the village of Whitchurch in Herefordshire.
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Vehicles were stranded in Hampton Bishop near Hereford after the River Lugg burst its banks
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A clean-up operation is under way in areas such as Ross-on-Wye amid the ongoing flood warnings

Meanwhile, Welsh Water has warned drinking water is running out in Monmouth and surrounding areas after “unprecedented flooding” at its treatment works in Mayhill.

There was some relief in Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, on Monday morning as defences appeared not to have been breached overnight, but severe flood warnings for the area now predict river levels will peak by Wednesday.

Chris Wreghitt, who lives in the village of Powick, in Worcestershire, says he has has been flooded before, but not this badly, and not since flood defences were built.

He told BBC News: “We were told when they built that flood defence that if it had been there before 2007, we wouldn’t have been flooded.

“Although there have been a couple of near misses over the past few years, we were still confident that we wouldn’t get flooded again.”

storm dennis fears for severn towns amid fresh flood warnings - Storm Dennis: Fears for Severn towns amid fresh flood warnings

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Media captionStorm Dennis: Herefordshire farm under water

Residents of the Wharfage, on the River Severn, have been evacuated to a restaurant on the High Street in Ironbridge, Telford and Wrekin Council said.

The council added that the river’s flood peak was moving towards the Ironbridge Gorge and was expected to arrive there later on Tuesday, while the Environment Agency warned flooding in the Wharfage is “potentially imminent”.

It added that river levels on the Severn could reach 6.7m high by Tuesday afternoon.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Rescue teams were deployed in Monmouth, south Wales, amid the floods

It comes as the River Wye at Monmouth, south Wales, peaked at 7.15m high on Tuesday, breaking the previous record high of 6.48m in 2002.

There are two severe warnings in place on the River Wye at Monmouth, according to Natural Resources Wales.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Residents in Monmouth were seen using canoes to travel on Tuesday

Around 800 homes in Wales have been directly affected by flooding, First Minister Mark Drakeford told the BBC.

The Welsh government has put aside between £5m and £10m to help those residents affected.

Meanwhile, the key developments in England are:

  • Calderdale Council, in West Yorkshire, has complained the Calder Valley feels “forgotten” by government, after the area experienced severe flooding during Storm Ciara. The council called for the area to be granted “Tier one” status to unlock “a recurrent injection of funding to continue to protect our communities.”
  • Drayton Manor theme park in Staffordshire has announced it will remain closed until 29 February due to severe flooding in the grounds.
  • The government has activated an emergency funding scheme for areas affected by the flooding. Councils can ask the government to reimburse non-insurable costs above a certain threshold.

People in flood-hit households can apply for financial hardship payments of up to £500 for short-term relief, the government announced on Tuesday.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said the funding would “help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet”.

The government support fund also includes up to £5,000 for affected residents and business owners to help make their properties more resilient to future floods.

storm dennis fears for severn towns amid fresh flood warnings 1 - Storm Dennis: Fears for Severn towns amid fresh flood warnings

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Media captionA 4×4 driver almost needs rescuing himself when he attempts to help flood victims in Herefordshire.

For more information, check the BBC Weather website and your BBC Local Radio station for regular updates.

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