Shropshire river levels peak and expected to fall

The downpours started on Friday and continued for more than 24 hours, leaving large parts of Shropshire submerged under water and the emergency services inundated with calls.

The scene this afternoon in Bridgnorth. Pic: @ChrisBaingerEA
The scene this afternoon in Bridgnorth. Pic: @ChrisBaingerEA

But river levels around the county have begun to drop and flood barriers are expected to follow.

The scene this afternoon in Bridgnorth. Pic: @ChrisBaingerEA

Despite this, there are currently 12 flood warnings and seven flood alerts across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

The River Severn has already reached its peak in Shrewsbury at 4.06m and Ironbridge and Buildwas at 5.5m.

Bridgnorth hit its high point of 4.72m this morning.

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As of 9am today, there were still 14 flood warnings in place by the Environment Agency where flooding is expected and seven flood alerts where flooding is possible.

The scene this afternoon in Bridgnorth. Pic: @ChrisBaingerEA

Warnings remain in place for parts of Bridgnorth and the surrounding areas such as Quatford, with warnings also in place in Bewdley, Ironbridge and Jackfield, Shrewsbury Showground and The Quarry and the River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook and Melverley.

There has been at least nine warnings in the region removed in the last 24 hours, including in Shrewsbury.

Anthony Perry, Area Duty Manager for the Environment Agency said: “Due to the heavy and persistent rain we saw Friday and into Saturday, we have a high number of flood alerts and flood warnings remaining in force across the Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire area.

“Our incident rooms are open across the West Midlands and we will continue to monitor the situation closely today.

“In Shropshire, we presently have 12 warnings and 7 alerts in place.

“Across the Area, we have deployed our barriers at Hereford, Shrewsbury (Frankwell), Ironbridge, Bewdley and closed our flood gates at Upton-upon-Severn. The barriers at Hereford have now been removed.

“The river has peaked in Shrewsbury but levels on the River Severn will continue to remain high this week as water moves through the system. Levels are consistent with those we would expect to see in a normal winter flood.

The scene this afternoon in Bridgnorth. Pic: @ChrisBaingerEA

“We have teams out on the ground taking preventative action by checking and clearing debris from trash screens.

“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

“Members of the public are also advised to check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgencyMids on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”‎

With no significant rainfall forecast for the next 24 hours, river levels are expected to slowly drop although remaining high in places for the next few days.

Flood defences have been up since the weekend in Shrewsbury and Ironbridge and caravan owners on riverside sites in Bridgnorth were left stranded by surrounding floodwater after a sudden increase in river levels overnight.

Frankwell car park in Shrewsbury has suffered its usual flooding, with cars left completely underwater.

St Julian's Friars car park was also partially shut.

Shropshire and the Midlands were the worst hit by the torrential rain, with downpour in the Welsh hills adding to that falling on saturated ground around the county.

The majority of riverside footpaths remain flooded although this is expected to ease over the next couple of days.

Almost ten times the usual amount of water was flowing along the Severn yesterday in Ironbridge, with 485 tons per second registered at the Buildwas gauge compared to the norm of 50 tons per second.

In the north, Market Drayton's fire station put out an alert on Friday warning that a number of lanes and A and B roads had been closed, including the B5415 to Woore, A53 to Shrewsbury and A529 to Hinstock as well as the main road to Norton in Hales.

One house in the Betton area north of Market Drayton needed help on Friday night, with fire crews sending a rescue pump to help deal with "a large amount of rising flood water which was in danger of deluging the property" at about 7.30pm.

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