Flood warnings back in place in Shrewsbury as towns brace

Two flood warnings are in force in Shrewsbury and water levels are rising, experts warn.

The River Severn in Shrewsbury on Wednesday morning. Photo: Nick Humphreys.
The River Severn in Shrewsbury on Wednesday morning. Photo: Nick Humphreys.

A feared deluge in the River Severn’s catchment area in Wales has not been as bad as forecasters had anticipated but the Environment Agency has warnings in force for imminent flooding at Frankwell and the Showground and the Quarry.

Shrewsbury Town Council has closed its upper and lower toilets in the Quarry and at Sydney Avenue, by the Weir, as waters rise relentlessly.

A coffee shop in the Quarry took avoiding action by raising on stilts as businesses and residents wondered how high the water would rise. Weather experts say there is a chance that colder Arctic air moving in over the next few days could turn to snow.

The Environment Agency had withdrawn one of its warnings, for the Quarry and the Showground at lunchtime on Wednesday but re-imposed it a few hours later.

An EA spokesman said: “Flooding is expected in this area.

“This means properties are at risk of flooding.

“Please take action to protect yourself and your property and monitor local weather and river conditions.

“Avoid contact with, walking or driving through flood water.

“Consider activating any property flood protection products you may have.”

Environment Agency Flood Warning System had issued this message based on rising river or tidal levels. They had temporarily fallen before beginning to rise again.

A spokesman said: “We are temporarily automating our messages due to industrial action.”

A spokesman for Shrewsbury Town Council said: “With flood waters rising, we’ve had to take the decision to close our public toilets in the Quarry - both upper and lower - and at Sydney Avenue, by the Weir.

“Once the flood waters have receded and it’s safe, we’ll let you know when they re-open.”

Temporary flood barriers are in place at Frankwell.

Barriers in Frankwell car park

Current flood warnings, where flooding is expected, are in place in Shropshire at the River Severn at Frankwell, the River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook and at Melverley, as well as the Quarry and the Showground.

There are flood alerts in Shropshire, where flooding is possible, at the River Dee catchment in England from Whitchurch to Chester; the River Severn in Shropshire and into Worcestershire, the Severn Vyrnwy confluence, the Tern and Perry catchments and the Upper Teme.

Flood barriers in place at Ironbridge on Tuesday

Former Environment Agency leader Dave Throup tweeted that there had not been as much rain as feared across Wales on Tuesday.

He said: "Fortunately not as much rain across Wales today as feared. 20-30mm widely over the uplands. Spot totals over 50mm.

The river level in central Shrewsbury

"Unfortunately no time for rivers to recover as more heavy rain arrives tomorrow."

And regional search and rescue experts have warned of the power and poison of flood waters.

A swan in Shrewsbury

A spokesman for West Mercia Search & Rescue warned: "With flooding expected across our patch, it's worth reminding folks about the power of flood water.

"It's also worth remembering that floods aren't just water.

"It's sewage. It's chemicals. It's dead animals. It has bacteria and protozoa and disease.

"It's fuel from submerged cars. It's oils and farm chemicals. It's submerged sharps, broken glass and twisted metal."

River levels remain above their normal range at Montford Bridge, Welsh Bridge, Bridgnorth, and Bewdley in Worcestershire.

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