Residents 'devastated' by Shrewsbury floods

Residents in Shrewsbury have spoken of 'devastation' as the River Severn bursts its banks once again.

Floodng at Coleham, Shrewsbury. Photo: Julie Bull.
Floodng at Coleham, Shrewsbury. Photo: Julie Bull.

The river level at the Welsh Bridge gauge peaked at 4.94m this morning, just 31cm below the highest ever recorded level of 5.25m during the floods in November 2000.

This caused traffic disruption, road closures and flooding in streets, houses and shops.

The scene was not dissimilar to that of the floods in Shropshire last year, when the river level in Shrewsbury peaked at just over 5m in February.

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With much of the Quarry underwater, Shrewsbury dog walker Jeanette Rider was equipped with knee-high Wellington boots while traversing the sodden ground – much of which was inpassable.

"It's devastating to see it all over again," said Jeanette, 54.

"The shops are closed so in one way it's different to last time as there's not as much open anyway, but the damage it must do to all the properties must be the same.

"I'm hoping this isn't a yearly thing as I'm not sure we can cope with it every year.

Flooding in Shrewsbury

"People have already had to deal with so much with the pandemic and now this, it's only going to add to the problems."

Parts of Smithfield Road, Coleham, Coton Hill, Frankwell and St Julian's Friars are among the worst affected areas in Shrewsbury, and further flooding is also expected down the Severn in Bridgnorth and Ironbridge as river levels peak over the next couple of days.

Roger Smith, 73, of Radbrook, said: "I walk to the shops and I've had to take an alternative route to get the papers and milk this morning.

"It seems like yesterday the town was underwater last.

Flooding in Shrewsbury

"What with this virus as well, we'll all be housebound for good soon.

"I think there's an argument we need better flood defences as everyone thought last year might be a one-off but it doesn't look like that anymore.

"If the money's there, get some defences in, and if it's not then we need to find it from somewhere."

Flooding in Shrewsbury

Police were also working throughout town to mitigate transport issues caused by road closures and ensure the safety of the few residents on the streets.

Several people had to be rescued as the river edged closer to the levels seen during last year's flooding.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: "Shrewsbury Safer Neighbourhood Team is working in the town centre dealing with flooding issues – lots of traffic disruption with road closures.

"Please [only] travel if it really is essential and keep out of floods."

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