Storm Dennis: Warning as Shropshire firefighters called 200 times in 12 hours
Firefighters in Shropshire were inundated with more 200 calls in 12 hours as Storm Dennis battered the county.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has warned people to plan ahead and avoid driving through flood waters and encouraged those affected by flooding to secure their properties and relocate to a safe area.
Flooding has affected many parts of the county but most of the fire service's resources have been dedicated to the south of Shropshire, near Ludlow, where a severe flood warning has been issued due to the rising levels of the River Teme.
A major incident has now been declared and emergency crews are on standby near the worst affected areas.
John Temple, Group Manager at Shropshire Fire and Rescue, said: "If you are in a flooded area, relocate to somewhere else if possible and secure your property.
"Avoid driving through flooded waters. It only takes six inches of water to lift and move a car and we are seeing this happen already. Do not risk it.
"We are still expecting conditions to worsen before they get better. We are asking people to plan ahead."
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Firefighters have been busy helping rescue people from flooded properties, mainly in Ludlow and elsewhere in the south of the county, and from cars which have got stuck driving through flood water.
Parts of Clun and Clunton were also underwater this morning, while two people had to be rescued from a house by fire crews using a boat in Cound, near Shrewsbury.
Meanwhile crews in Bridgnorth have been supporting residents in Hilton after 25 homes in Willow Close and Brookside Drive were affected by flooding.
The houses had approximately three feet of flood water inside, which Bridgnorth Fire Station said was continuing to rise.
And the A442 at Dansford has been closed all day due to severe flooding and damage, with crews from Bridgnorth helping deal with a nearby property.
Shropshire firefighters have also been supporting teams in Hereford and Worcester, where a major incident has been declared after serious flooding in Burford and Tenbury Wells where dozens of people have had to be evacuated.
"Hereford and Worcester Fire Service, due to the unprecedented number of calls, have announced a major incident," Mr Temple said.
"We are focusing our services in the south of the county and assisting crews in Hereford and Worcester.
"This may change as river levels continue to rise but we will continue to monitor that. The River Teme has not yet peaked, it is expected around 6pm tonight."
Confirming a major incident had been declared, a West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “It is vital that the public allow the emergency services and their partners to deal with the situation. Please help us by not putting yourself at risk by travelling unless absolutely necessary.
“If you are in an area that has historically been affected by flooding, please ensure that you are up to date with the current advice available from the Environment Agency.
“For drivers, please do not drive through flood waters; we have already seen numerous cases of cars becoming stranded. It takes remarkably little water to put you and your car at risk.”
Meanwhile British Red Cross teams are also helping deal with the flooding in the county.
Georgie Timmins, Crisis Response Officer at British Red Cross said: “British Red Cross have been liaising with relevant local authorities, offering to support people affected by Storm Dennis across the UK.
"We are currently responding in Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Gloucestershire, and we are currently ready to help in Wales, Manchester, Buckinghamshire, Lancashire and Inverness. Our volunteers know that when people are caught up in a crisis, one person’s needs are different to the next person.
“The storms are expected to continue, and water is anticipated to be at peak levels on Monday and Tuesday. It is important people are ready should the worst happen. It’s a good idea to ensure your phone is fully charged and you have torches at hand.
"Taking a few minutes to get together an emergency kit can make a huge difference. For more information on how to prepare visit redcross.org.uk”.
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