Widespread flooding brought chaos to Shropshire – closing roads, schools and railway lines – as the county was declared the wettest place in Britain.
Shropshire was placed on amber alert – the second most serious – as 71mm (2.8ins) of rain fell in just 24 hours.
The Met Office said the figure for Pennerley, near Church Stretton, was the equivalent of almost a month’s rainfall. Shropshire usually averages 85mm for the whole of September.
Flood alerts were in place on the rivers Teme, Onny and Corve and their tributaries upstream of Ludlow as well as the Rea Brook and Cound Brook, and rivers Tern, Perry, Roden and Strine Brook, near Kynnersley.
Residents in Wellington Road, Donnington, Telford, were left trapped in their homes after drains overflowed, filling the street with up to four inches (10cm) of water.
Peter Jones said: “The water’s lifting up the drain cover and spurting six inches into the air. It’s running down the road and we can’t get across the road. It’s even deeper further down the road.
“Where it’s coming out of the drain it’s above the top of the kerb. When a vehicle comes down the road it’s spraying over the top of six foot fences.”
Children from Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge Primary School were sent home when the school was closed due to flooding.
Telford & Wrekin Council spokesman Russell Griffin said Dale Road, in front of the school, was closed and parents were being asked to collect children from Station Road, behind the school. Schools were also closed in Brockton, Rushbury, Hadnall, Stottesdon and Pontesbury.
The weather also led to the delay of planned roadworks in Telford. The start of maintenance work in Church Hill, Ironbridge, between Dawley Road and New Works Lane has been postponed, and the road will remain open until the weather improves.
Rail commuters were being advised not to travel unless “absolutely necessary” with flooding affecting stations in Wellington, Oakengates, Shrewsbury and Wem.
All London Midland services between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, including at Telford central, Wellington, Oakengates and Shifnal, were cancelled mid-morning with coaches operating instead. A spokesman said engineers were currently assessing the situation but that it was currently dangerous for trains to be operating.
Arriva Trains Wales said “a number” of its services were facing delays in Shropshire and all train services between Shrewsbury and Hereford had also been scrapped due to cascading water on the track at All Stretton, near Church Stretton.
Chris Denham, a spokesman for Network Rail, said all trains between Shrewsbury and Hereford were cancelled for the foreseeable future.
More than a dozen roads in the county have been left closed, including the A49 north of Shrewsbury with diversions being set up via the A53.
Maria Jones, for Shropshire Council, said the closure affected all traffic between Battlefield roundabout and Preston Brockhurst, near Wem.
A car and a taxi were involved in a crash in Watling Street, Wellington, near to Telford College shortly after 8am while in Albrighton, near Shifnal, torrential rain led to floods closing Station Road.
Elsewhere in Shropshire, motorists had to drive with extra care after standing water began to collect on roads and lanes.
Problem areas included the A41 at Sandford, between Market Drayton and Whitchurch and the A528 at Harmer Hill.
Amanda Townsend, a spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: “The rain in Shropshire is extremely heavy in places and it is going to hang around for a large part of the day.
“An awful lot of rainfall is predicted across the course of the day with most places easily receiving about one inch.
“But it will get up to double that in some places with west Shropshire in particular likely to have up to two inches of rainfall.
“This level of rainfall in such a short period will mean there will be localised flooding and hopefully it will start to ease up this evening.
“But there is a chance it will hang around for large parts of tomorrow too. It’s also going to be pretty cold with temperatures struggling to get into double figures.”
The Environment Agency said warnings were likely to be issued. A spokesman said: “We are urging people in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire to prepare for possible flooding.
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