Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury flooding not as bad as feared - but residents 'fed up' with repeated problem

It has been bad but perhaps not as awful as it could have been after the River Severn peaked in Shrewsbury this morning.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

That will be little comfort to the victims who have been left with soggy carpets and who are facing the grim prospect of mucking out their cellars and cleaning their flooring once more.

As the river level peaked at 4.68 metres at the Welsh Bridge it was fortunately well below the maximum of 5m that the Environment Agency (EA) had forecast on Wednesday evening.

In Smithfield Road that meant that The Salopian bar has escaped the worst, but a barber shop nearby had the water lapping at the door.

Traffic had been stopped on that road, Roushill, Raven Meadows and up at Chester Street and Coton Hill. The waters were under the railway tunnel opposite the Gateway centre.

Smithfield Road opposite the Salopian

County councillor Kate Halliday, who represents the Longden area, was hopeful that, bad as things were, it would not get any worse. And she hopes that the waters will start to drain away soon.

"I'm hoping that we are at the peak and that it may slowly start to go down," she said. "But I am sure it will be high for 24 hours at least."

The EA is saying that no significant rain is forecast but they expect river levels to remain high for several days.

Flooding in Coleham, Shrewsbury

Councillor Halliday was "really disappointed" when an initial assessment for flood defences in the area was not accepted. She is aiming to push the case once more.

She added that local businesses were showing the same resilience as staff at WRR Pugh and Son funeral directors were using buckets to throw water from their premises.

Locals in wellington boots were seen carrying furniture from some homes while tables and chairs were piled in a dry spot in the street.

The scene in Longden Coleham

Lee McGowan, a landlord who rents to a tenant at Longden Coleham, has, like so many, seen it all before. He said 'hopefully that is it' as he stood on dry pavement just a few inches away from the water high point.

He's owned his property for 20 years and was around when the great flood of 2000 came up to his windowsill.

"I was friends with the previous owner and bought it off him," he said. "I can't get insurance and can't make changes because it's a listed building."

Right in the middle of the floods, opposite the Coleham Pumping Station, Daryl Lloyd and his family were hoping that their pump would keep the water in their cellar to a manageable level instead of coming up to their chests. It makes the clear-up easier.

Landlord of the Cross Foxes: Daryl Lloyd

Daryl's wife Dawn had popped to the shops to buy a spare pump in case the one they had working were to fail.

Daryl has been involved in the family business for 38 years, taking over from his mother Mary and father Bill, who ran it before him.

It is a good community local and the Cross Foxes customers rallied round on Wednesday to move the beer barrels out of harm's way. Daryl hopes they will muck in as always with his adult son and daughter and his son-in-law, and staff members Sam and John when it comes to cleaning up.

Daryl said: "Nothing seems to be done about it. We are now flooding at least once a year, sometimes three times."

Lee McGowan shows where the floods of 2000 reached in comparison to Thursday's peak in Longden Coleham

He added that if the pub is closed for two days it could lose him £1,000 while they also have the expense of cleaning up, and paying staff wages.

He added that the pub is supported by lots of good customers who like to lap up the free house's Wye Valley and Bishop's Castle ales.

Across the Greyfriars footbridge into the Quarry and Wyle Cop areas, Terry Roberts, 61, and Lorraine Peever, 57, were relieved that the waters did not rise to 2020 levels. They have been residents for five years and have seen multiple floods.

One of their neighbours lost his wheelie bin to the rising River Severn and it floated off to an unknown downstream destination.

Terry Roberts looks out on his riverside back garden where the water was up to the roof of his shed and submerged his bird feeder

Terry and Lorraine's back gardens were flooded up to the top of their bird feeder and the only thing above water of their shed was the roof complete with its loggerheads and Salop signs.

They say they don't get much attention from the authorities although they are insured under a Government scheme. Their floors are above all but the most disastrous flood levels.

"We are a little bit fed up with it," said Terry. "There is the stress of worrying how deep it will get and whether the pump will keep working in the cellar.

"Then there is the time and cost of cleaning out the cellar and then we have to hose out the the back garden."

Sarah Allman's picture from the top of Coton Manor flats

They had a power cut but "fortunately" they said it only lasted one hour before the electricity was back on, powering the cellar pump.

The whole thing has also left their one-year-old cat, Loki, looking "baffled" as he can't get through the cellar area and out the back.

Elsewhere in the general area, the pumps were churning at Greyfriars and sandbags were out hopefully protecting properties on Marine Passage, near the English Bridge where the water was well above path level.