Bridgnorth flooding: 'Dire' situation as residents battle on against rising river level
The situation with flooding in Bridgnorth remains "dire" despite the continued efforts of the newly formed flood action group to support residents.
As of approximately 8.30am on Tuesday, river levels had been continuing to rise at the Bridgnorth river gauge following recent heavy rainfall.
Four hours later the height of the River Severn at the town was 4.97m, with water rising 'very quickly' and reaching homes at Severn Terrace.
Ian Wellings is a lead member of the community Bridgnorth Flood Action Working Group working to support residents who are badly affected by flood water.
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The Bridgnorth Town Councillor and Riverside resident, said: "It's dire this morning, despite all the efforts with sandbags.
"Friar playing field is under a considerable amount of water," he said. "We've got to do something to stop this every 12 months."
"We do have emergency refuges if needed, but we haven't reached that point yet and hopefully we don't have to," he added.
"The biggest problem we've got is that all the sandbags provided by Shropshire Council have gone," which he described as a major problem.
A resident from Severn Terrace said: "At Severn Terrace we have flooded three times in three years now.
"We don't have the access to any flood defences systems which Ironbridge, Shrewsbury and Bewdley benefit from.
"We are left to deal with it. In fact it's the aftermath of the flood which really grinds you down, it takes literally months and months to get back straight again."
"Not looking for sympathy, we knew what we were buying into, we love the riverside location, but just some possible short and long term solutions and professional advice from the authorities would be very welcome."
Despite some flood defence measures in place – six pumps, four floodgates and sandbags – water has entered the home, ahead of the peak which is expected to hit the town tomorrow morning.
The action group have managed to secure free parking for Innage Lane car park and Severn Street car park for permit holders, after the Riverside Car park was closed off.
An emergency team made up of Shropshire Council representatives will also be on hand tomorrow from 9am at Castle Hall to issue advice and discuss residents concerns.
One elderly resident's memories of floods from decades past were stirred by the scenes in the town.
Caroline Allport, 80, said: "When I was a little girl I remember when the water went above the pub called the Fox and the water was above its door.
"I remember the flooding when I was a girl and in Low Town the water was above the building's front doors.
"I think I was about three when Claude had Swancote Swimming Pool.
"The water is coming up again, I am on the A442 road to Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, the fields by us have water in and it is rising.
"My husband is 92, Albert, and he is still with me. The water is still coming up but it is still not as high as it was when I was a little girl.
"This was before the bridge in Bridgnorth, there was not Telford like it is now when I was a girl.
"I caught TB when I was a girl, I caught it from the cattle.
"There is just me, Bert and our Jack Russell, Jakey, and he is 15 so he is over 100 if he was a human.
"There is a nursing home near us called Danesford Grange, they have not evacuated, but we are staying put too."
The road closures in Bridgnorth include the Bylet to Wellmeadow, Southwell Riverside, Severnside South to The Boat Yard, Doctors Lane, Severn Terrace and the Quayside.
A fresh supply of sandbags arrived on Tuesday afternoon at Shropshire Council's Cantern Brook depot, ready to collect on a first-come-first-served basis.
Please do only take what you need and be considerate of neighbours," said the council. "We aim to re-stock again later this afternoon."