Shropshire flooding continues as River Severn peaks in Bridgnorth and Ironbridge

Home and business owners are once again counting the cost after heavy flooding hit Shropshire for the second time in less than 12 months.

The River Severn was expected to peak in Ironbridge early on Saturday
The River Severn was expected to peak in Ironbridge early on Saturday

The River Severn is now reducing in height after peaking in Bridgnorth and Ironbridge on Saturday morning but flooding continues to cause major disruption across the county.

The Severn reached a maximum height of 6.71m (22ft) in Ironbridge in the early hours - 33cm (1ft) short of the record level recorded in 2000 - before peaking at 5.15m in Bridgnorth (16ft 8in) at around 5am. The record height recorded in Bridgnorth was 5.26m (17ft 3in) in the 2000 floods.

Further down the river at Bewdley, the flood defences at Beales Corner were breached in the early hours.

The clean-up operation is in full swing in Shrewsbury, as residents across the county continue to pump water out of their homes and businesses.

Fire crews ferried carers to patients in Shrewsbury. Photo: @SFRS_cjackson
Flooding along the River Severn in Bridgnorth

Smithfield Road, Welsh Bridge, Chester Street and Coton Hill in Shrewsbury were all back open by Saturday lunchtime.

Coleham Head and Coleham High Street were also reopened late Saturday afternoon.

Riverside areas around Bridgnorth and Ironbridge are also shut and Arriva has warned that bus services across the county are facing delays and diversions.

And two severe flood warnings, signifying danger to life, remained in place for the River Dee at Farndon and the Lower Dee Valley from Llangollen to Trevalyn Meadows on Saturday morning.

Aerial view of the flooding in Ironbridge, taken by @telfordultimate
Flooding in Coleham, Shrewsbury, on Friday. Photo: Owain Betts

It comes after vulnerable people had to be evacuated from their homes in Coton Hill, Shrewsbury, on Friday while in Coleham businesses that had only just recovered from the floods of February 2020 were once again faced with significant damage.

Fire crews were also busy on Friday evening ferrying carers through the floods to their patients in Coleham.

The feeling in Ironbridge was one of anger and frustration yesterday as residents and business owners braced for the worst after more flood barriers were installed along the Wharfage.

More flooding coverage:

People have hardly had chance to recover from last year’s floods and have found themselves back to square one this week in the aftermath of Storm Cristoph.

Resident Ben Price said: “When you add this to the pandemic, it’s just a nightmare. I’m lucky because I live on higher ground but people are having to leave their homes.

"Everybody is totally stressed out. People in Ironbridge need to be supported through this.”

Shropshire flooding latest

Although river levels are now receding in Shropshire, the Environment Agency has warned that river levels will remain high for the next few days.

In Bridgnorth, caravans at the Riverside Caravan Park were sat in flood water as the river reached the site, while the water also reached homes on the waterfront.

The River Severn had peaked in Shrewsbury at Welsh Bridge on Friday morning at 4.95m (16.2 ft), having burst its banks in Frankwell, Smithfield Road and Coleham late on Thursday.

Flooding in Coleham, Shrewsbury
Flooding in Pentre near Nesscliffe

Flood warnings remained in place for the entire length of the Severn this morning but it is not just the riverside towns that have suffered - flooding from the Vyrnwy/Severn confluence has also affected areas from Welshpool to Llanymynech and Melverley.

Meanwhile the worst of the flooding from the River Teme and its tributaries in south Shropshire is over, with a less severe flood alert in place. However residents have still been urged to avoid low lying footpaths and roads near watercourses after the Teme peaked at just over 4m (13ft 1in) on Thursday.

Businesses counting cost

Business owners in Ironbridge have once again been working hard to protect their properties from the worst of the flooding.

Canoe hire boss Vic Haddock has confessed he may call it a day after the flooding destroyed renovation work he had to do after last years torrents.

“It’s exactly the same as last year, the damage,” he said. “And we’ve had the same amount of help as last year as well. None. A few sand bags have been dumped at the top of the road and I’ve had to use my truck to ferry them down to people.

“The boat house is a write off. I spent thousands of pounds rebuilding it. I don’t know if I can be bothered to do it again, and I mean that.”

He added: “The Environment Agency needs to do more to help.”

Owner Vic Haddock is questioning whether it is worth repairing the Boathouse in Ironbridge again
Flood barriers along the River Severn in Ironbridge

Chris Harrison from Dale End Cafe was preparing for a long night of battling against the floods.

The river was set to peak in Ironbridge at around 1am, so he was planning on being there to keep an eye on things. The cafe flooded four times in four months last year.

He said: “It’s actually going better than last year at the moment, but it’s not over yet. We’re more set up for it this time.

“We managed to empty the shop. We have a pump and another business has lent us an additional pump.

“I’ve been able to get staff in to help and we’ve had a lot of help from the local community.

Flooding at Melverley from the Severn and Vyrnwy rivers. Photo: Chris Aitken

“We’re fighting the fight at the moment.

“I’ve got some fantastic local people keeping an eye on it for me at the moment so I can get a couple of hours sleep so I can go back later.”

He said he and others in the area are looking to form a floods forum to help find ways to prevent Ironbridge being hit so badly in the future.

“We’re trying take a bad situation and turn it into good.”

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