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Clean up begins as Bridgnorth river level drops

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

"It must be the worst we've had for years. I've never seen it this bad in Bridgnorth before."

That was the cry from residents after the market town experienced some of its worst floods in more than two decades.

The town was close to becoming an island as the A442 entrance was closed from Sutton Maddock, as well as various other routes from Telford including Coalport Road and the B4176.

About 45 properties were evacuated before the River Severn hit its peak of 5.04 metres at 10.45pm on Tuesday.

Certain houses along Riverside in High Town were inaccessible as others were barricaded by flood gates and sandbags, while properties on the flood-prone Doctor's Lane could be seen pumping out gallons of water.

Petra Bate works at the town's railway and is one of the residents living along Riverside, which was closed by Shropshire Council's highways team on Tuesday.

She said it took until the floods were at their worst for sandbags to be delivered.

"I think a lot more could have been done. Everyone was aware the floods were coming," she said.

"The water come over the side of the bank on Monday and it wasn't until about 3pm on Tuesday a van came along with sandbags.

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"I've lived here for 15 years and it must be the worst we've had for years. I've never seen it this bad in Bridgnorth before."

Despite concerns raised by residents, mayor Ron Whittle said the overall response to the flooding had been positive.

Councillor Whittle said: "I think the Environment Agency have been on top of what they can be this time around.

"A few properties have been flooded but I don't think it's been quite as bad as flooding in 2000. We also had it quite bad in 2007 and I think it's about on par with that."

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Following advice from Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service, the town council and Shropshire Council set up a rest centre for those affected in Castle Hall.

Councillor Whittle added: "Now it's just a case of letting the river drop. I think it has begun to drop but I know we're forecast more rain so it'll be a slow process.

"I don't think the rain we're going to get will be quite so bad so hopefully it won't raise the river anymore."

Various businesses offered refreshments and shelter to emergency service workers battling the floods and those affected, including the Falcon Hotel, Keith Alderson Butchers and Beamans Butchers.

Karl Owen, co-owner of the Falcon, said: "We had Bridgnorth fire brigade come through and they had pork sandwiches and hot drinks.

"I've lived here for 44 years, I've seen a lot of flooding over the years and I think this one has created a bit of a catastrophe.

"To hear nearly all roads around Bridgnorth are shut, I've witnessed that before."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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