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'Danger to life' warnings remain in place for Shrewsbury as most trains cease in and out of town

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Shrewsbury faced another torrent of torment as rising river levels wreaked havoc through the town, ominously creeping through properties to leave devastation and destruction, with a "danger to life" warning still in place.

With Shrewsbury falling victim to heavy flooding, many roads in the area are closed, as well as some schools, while Transport for Wales has warned all train lines at Shrewsbury Railway Station - except those running to and from Chester and Crewe - will be closed from 2pm today.

West Midlands Railway said train services running between Shrewsbury and Birmingham New Street could be cancelled or delayed because of flooding.

Fans heading to tonight's Shrewsbury Town match with Tranmere were told the game was still on but they should be aware of travel complications.

The town's shopping centres, Pride Hill, Darwin and Riverside, are all shut today for customers' safety.

The Severn is expected to peak in Shrewsbury and Ironbridge this evening, and in Bridgnorth and Bewdley on Wednesday.

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In Shrewsbury, Smithfield Road, Chester Street and Raven Meadows all remain closed, as do Frankwell Main and Raven Meadows car parks. Abbey Foregate car park is also closed today, and people trying to get into town have been advised to use buses. Water is under the bridge on Castle Foregate.

Flooding is also affecting Gravel Hill Lane, Sydney Avenue, Victoria Avenue, Coton Hill, Roushill, Berwick Road and Longden Coleham

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Meanwhile, traffic was heavy on the M54 and other main roads around the area.

Homeowners opposite the bus station had to use silicone to seal their front doors and move all of their furniture upstairs as the waves licked closer to their doorsteps and while water continued to cascade onto the street from Smithfield Road.

Inese Juhevica, a cleaner who lives in one of the houses, spoke to the Shropshire Star through her letterbox as she was too scared of the water seeping in.

She said: "I've been here 11 years. It's crazy. I cannot go out of my front door. My daughter is really worried. My husband has been shopping and we have enough food for a month so I think we will just stay and hide until the river goes away."

Another neighbour had also moved her life upstairs. She said from her first floor window: "I've been here 24 years and we've had it worse. But Shropshire Council used to bring round sandbags. This time it's been a free-for-all. You just go and pick them up. People have taken them who don't need them while we've had to seal up our door with silicone.

Businesses in the town took yet another battering. The Alb hotel and restaurant in Smithfield Road was pumping water out by the bucketload, as was The Lion & Pheasant Hotel at the bottom of Wyle Cop. Shops owners in Longden Coleham felt they were better prepared for this second bout of flooding, but continued to face an onslaught of water pouring into the street.

Flooding in Wyle Cop

Greyfriar's Bridge closed on Monday afternoon, and by this morning there was no access to premises on the town centre side including Darwin's Townhouse, The Masala and Stop coffee shop.

Even businesses in Hill's Lane weren't safe. Like many, Hayley Morgan from The Parlour hair and beauty salon, was doing everything she could to try and remain open.

She was trying to pump water from the cellar to get it out before it poured onto the shop floor. She said: "We've been here 10 years and this is the first time we've flooded. Luckily it's just the cellar at the moment but the river's still rising.

"We just moved in six months ago and this is all newly refurbished. We're still trying to trade but we've had lots of cancellations because people don't know if they can get into town."

Shrewsbury was a ghost town first thing in the morning, but as the day wore on, more people made their way into town to look at and take pictures of the flooding.

Lib Dem acting co-leader Ed Davey waded into Smithfield Road, and wellied Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not making an appearance and the government over climate change.

He said: "People are saying 'where's Boris?' They are quite shocked that he's failed to come and talk to people.

"They don't expect him to wave a magic wand, but the support is not up to scratch.

"The impact the flooding is having on the town is quite huge. I've heard about people whose shops have had to close and their houses have flooded.

"We need more investment in flood defences. We've got to have a much more holistic approach to prevent it from happening again.

"People have found their shops flooded two or three times. There needs to be a long term plan.

Flooding in Shrewsbury

West Mercia Police Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said “We have seen traffic delays around Shrewsbury town centre as many roads within the town have been affected by flooding and my plea would be if you don’t need to travel at rush hour then please don’t or use alternative transport.

"We anticipate this disruption will continue throughout the week and would urge people to plan their journey and try and avoid areas affected by flooding as this puts additional pressure on the road network.”

Shrewsbury road closures list:

  • Victoria Avenue
  • Old Coleham
  • Gravel Hill Lane
  • Sydney Avenue
  • Atcham to Cross Houses
  • Chiltern Farm Lane
  • Berwick Road
  • Longden Coleham
  • Raven Meadows
  • Roushill
  • Cressage to Eaton Constantine
  • Smithfield Road – both directions
  • Coton Hill
  • Chester Street and Cross Street
  • Atcham to Berwick Wharf
  • B4380 Emstrey Island to Atcham
  • Williams Way
  • Coleham Head
  • English Bridge
  • Frankwell, including Welsh Bridge
  • Wyle Cop

Priory Road remains closed due to roof damage at the Quarry Swimming Centre.

Town Walls is closed while Cadent investigate and repair a gas leak. Barring any unforeseen circumstances they currently anticipate the works will be complete by Wednesday.

London Road will remain open as normal until further notice. The temporary closure, for BT cable work, was due to be put back in place yesterday having been lifted last week.

See the latest forecast from the Met Office here:

Tuesday morning forecast 25/02/2020

Chris Bainger from the Environment Agency said: "Please remain vigilant #FloodAware Two #Severe flood warnings for #Shrewsbury & #Ironbridge remain in force.

We are continuing to monitor the situation, warning & informing with all partners and all media channels."

Transport for Wales tweeted: "All lines into and out of Shrewsbury are on the verge of being closed due to flood water levels being 2 inches below the closure marks and on various bridges and viaducts that serve the station and still rising.

"All lines will be BLOCKED!"

Several schools have closed this morning. In Shrewsbury, Long Mountain CE Primary and Coleham Primary have closed due to flooding, while St Giles Primary is also closed due to a boiler issue.

Castlefields Primary in Bridgnorth is also closed.

West Mercia Police provided a further update on road closures, adding: "Shrewsbury road closures due to floods;- Madeley Rd Junc with Wrekin View, Buildwas Rd & Much Wenlock Rd. the Lloyds, Legges Way & past the Museum."

Dave Throup from the Environment Agency has been a man in demand over the past couple of weeks.

He provided a stark update on the situation:

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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