Shropshire Star

Nervous Shrewsbury businesses thankful latest flooding wasn't worse - but fear for future

Businesses and organisations that suffer most when Shrewsbury floods are counting their lucky stars in the wake of Storm Babet - but fearing for worse in autumn and winter.

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In the garden of Barnabus Church Centre. Pictured are Karen Williams and John Young

Once the river gauges peaked on Sunday it soon became clear that it could have been worse as the waters were beginning a long, slow drop to hopefully near-normal levels.

Water pumps were working overtime at properties in Chester Street and at The Alb pub on Meadow Place. The Raven Meadows flood was reduced so much that drivers could easily navigate it, although some sent waters showering in their wake.

Over in Longden Coleham, the Barnabas Community Church decided to hold a Sunday service for 300 people online instead of face-to-face after watching the waters rise.

They have a greenhouse area at the back, close to the river, and at the weekend the muddy waters were lapping upwards.

Simon Heys, one of the church directors, said: "This is not our first rodeo when it comes to flooding. We had to make the call on Saturday but the water did not come to the level feared.

"I think we made the right call."

Members of the foodbank at Barnabus Church Centre. Sharon Casey, Dan Cherriman, Mark Hatchard and Christian Jones
Shrewsbury flooding scene. Picture: David Tooley

Like others they had been keeping an eye on the computer-generated Environment Agency flood level forecasts, which at one stage were showing figures much higher than the 4.3 metre peak it eventually settled on.

"We still need to get more accurate data," said Simon. "The computer needs to do some more learning and we hope the information from this flood will go towards that."

The site is also home to the Foodbank Plus, and people there were busy on the site.

Karen Williams, the Foodbank Plus project lead, said they had plans in place for if the worst happens. They keep precious food well off the ground and like most are well-prepared.