Shropshire flooding: Bridgnorth on high alert as residents warned to evacuate at-risk homes
Bridgnorth homes and businesses are on high alert as people are being urged to evacuate their homes if they are at risk of flooding and move their cars from a now closed-off street.
The River Severn is set to peak later today and streets in the low town are already experiencing flooding.
Riverside has now been closed by the Shropshire Council Highways Team - and the authority is urging motorists to move vehicles parked in this area as soon as possible, as 'the entire road will flood soon'.
Bridgnorth Town Council has issued the following statement: "The town council has been in communication with the local Incident Commander in Bridgnorth and the Major Incident Team located at Shrewsbury who are co-ordinating responses and activities.
"The advice for those that have seen their homes flooded or at serious risk of being flooded is to evacuate (so do not go upstairs)."
A flood warning is now in place in Bridgnorth, with properties on Severn Terrace, Riverside and local caravan parks expected to be affected.
Karen Wood, owner of BamBoo Wine Bar on Bridge Street, said she has never seen the river this high in the six years they have been in the town.
"We are on high alert," she said. "The water is coming up into our beer garden at the back.
"The back garden is under about 4ft of water. I have never seen it this high and we have been here for six years this year."
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The river levels are expected to peak at Bridgnorth between 5 and 5.4m this evening and some residents have questioned the town's needs for flood defences.
Ian George, fixture secretary at Bridgnorth Rugby Club, said many people are concerned as to why the town does not have flood defences.
"River levels are higher than it has been since 2000 and it is still rising," he said.
"We have not got any flood defences. You know, we are glad everyone is safe in Shrewsbury, Ironbridge and Bewdley, but what about people in Bridgnorth.
"It would be nice to know why they consider that Bridgnorth does not need flood defences when this is the third time we have flooded in the last six months.
"At the end of the day belongings can be replaced, we are concerned with peoples safety."
The A442 near to Bridgnorth Rugby Club is closed due to flooding and police have asked people to instead use the B4176 and A458.
Bridgnorth Cops tweeted: "Please take heed! A442 closed (flooding) use B4176 and A458, please don't cut through the lanes its chaos and will not save you time."
Shropshire Council has opened a rest centre in Bridgnorth for those affected by the floods caused by the rainfall during Storm Dennis. A further rest centre will be opened for the town should the need arise.
The rest centre is at the Castle Hall, West Castle Street, WV16 4AB.
Shelter, tea and coffee is being provided to residents in need of support.
Fran Spicer, who lives on Underhill Street on the banks of the River Severn with her husband Julian, said they are hoping the water does not get high enough to reach them.
"The property was built in 1760 and is set slightly back from the river, so at the moment we are keeping our fingers crossed," she said.
"We have lived here for 17 years and it is the worst we have known it.
"I think we should have flood defences. Anything to protect the residents will help.
"There are residents who are regularly affected by flooding who could benefit from improved flood defences."