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Fallout from Storm Dennis as water swamps Shropshire villages, closes roads and floods homes - with videos

By Rob Smith | Ludlow | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Shrewsbury's town centre was thrown into panic and chaos as rising floodwaters led to properties being evacuated and workers being rescued by boat.

A boat rescue team in Chester Street, Shrewsbury. Pic: Owain Betts

The sudden rise of water levels led the River Severn to burst its banks today, with water spilling over Smithfield Road, Coton Hill, and Castle Foregate.

The rapidly developing situation caught out residents, workers, and drivers, with some having to be rescued by boat as the emergency services shut the roads off to traffic and closed the Raven Meadows multi storey car park.

Latest flooding news:

Two fire crews and a boat were sent to help people out of their homes in Cross Street and Chester Street at around 2.30pm, while two people were earlier rescued from a van stranded in flood water on Berwick Street.

Shropshire Council had this afternoon warned motorists avoid using the roads into Shrewsbury town centre due to the rising water levels.

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Drivers were this morning warned to move their vehicles from the NCP car park at the bottom of Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury, as the river levels were rising.

There were around 80 cars at risk, said Shropshire Council.

Roads through Coleham were closed today as the River Severn through Shrewsbury were expected to peak this afternoon.

Frankwell and St Julian's car park were completely underwater with the flood barriers keeping the water away from streets and the town's university.

Businesses were erecting special floodgates and barriers alongside the river in Coton Hill as the water threatened to rise over the roads.

Menawhile, a Shropshire village was cut off by flood water.

Lisa Grimsley of Melverley said no vehicles could leave or enter the village, which sits on the Severn and Vyrnwy rivers near the Welsh border.

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She said it was the worst she had seen in a decade, with all of the nearby roads under several feet of water.

This morning she said: "Melverley residents now completely cut off, no way in or out. The Crew Green bridge the last to flood.

"Not seen floods like this for over ten years."

Flood warnings are in place for the Kyre Brook at Tenbury Wells, River Corve at Ludlow, River Severn at Bridgnorth, River Severn at Shrewsbury, River Severn at the Showground and Quarry in Shrewsbury, River Teme at Leintwardine, and River Teme at Tenbury Wells. There are a total of 14 flood warnings across Shropshire.

There are also flood alerts - warning people to be prepared for possible flooding - in 14 areas of the county.

Ludlow had been worst hit on Sunday with residents today beginning the extensive clean-up operation.

After being evacuated, residents of Corve Street and Temeside returned to their homes this morning to find the water had reached almost waist height, meaning even items placed on top of furniture were damaged.

A layer of mud coated the floors and furniture as residents began a clean up operation which is likely to go on for months.

Jonathan Webb, who lives in Temeside, said: “It was panic stations at about 7am, and the water started coming in at about 8am.

“We moved as much stuff as we could upstairs and put the sofas on top of the tables.

“We left the house at 9am, with the water pouring in through the front and back and the same time.

“We tried popping back last night but couldn’t get anywhere near the house.

“Some of our neighbours have flood defences but they were no use.”

See videos of flooding in Shropshire:

Storm Dennis leads to flooding woes in Ludlow
Storm Dennis leads to flooding chaos across Shropshire

Police and firefighters remained in Tenbury Wells today, which is still largely flooded, supporting the residents.

Nearly 600 flood warnings and alerts are in place in England, with more than 50 in Wales.

The A483 between Llanymynech and Welshpool - the main north south road through Wales - is closed because of flooding between Llanymynech and Four Crosses, at Ardleen and at Pool Quay north of Welshpool.

Two people had to be rescued from their car at Bangor-on-Dee on the Welsh/north Shropshire border last night.

A view towards Rodney's Pillar taken by Hire a Canoe Shrewsbury

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they were called shortly after 11.20pm to reports of a car stuck in water and rescued two people.

Roads in the Bangor-on-Dee area are closed today because of flooding from the River Dee.

See the latest Met Office forecast here:

Monday morning forecast 17/02/20

Natural Resources Wales has issued flood warnings on the whole of the Dee through Llangollen, to Bangor-on-Dee and further downstream into Chester.

Newtown was spared major flooding at the weekend after a culvert blocked.

Councillor Joy Jones praised council workers who managed to unblock the culvert and get the water flowing again.

With half term underway she also warned of the dangers of playing near flood water after seeing teenagers in the floods in the Vaynor fields.

"Flood water may look fun to play in but it's moving very fast," she said.

However some homes in Llandyssil were flooded.

The River Teme near Ludlow and Tenbury Wells reached its peak of 5.2m on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, Transport for Wales warned customers to check before they travel and allow extra time for their journey today following flood damage to key routes caused by Storm Dennis.

Affected lines include the Cambrian Line, with a rail replacement bus service operating from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and between Machynlleth to Pwllheli. The Heart of Wales line is also closed due to flooding at Knighton.

Transport for Wales’ customer delivery director, Bethan Jelfs, and Chris Pearce, head of operations for Network Rail Wales and Borders said: “As a result of flooding caused by Storm Dennis over the past 48 hours, Transport for Wales and Network Rail are strongly advising all customers to check their journey arrangements prior to travel today and allow plenty of time to their journey.

“Customers are also advised to expect significant delays on certain parts of the network following further heavy rainfall overnight and, if possible make alternative travel arrangements.

“There has been damage to the rail network and with some roads remaining impassable and limited replacement road transport available, it is inevitable that some services this morning will be subject to significant disruption which will result in delays and cancellations.

“Where trains are cancelled or terminating short of destination, every effort will be made to provide a replacement road transport wherever possible.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our absolute priority and we are working closely together to minimise any disruption by doing all we can to keep our customers moving and informed.

“The situation is changing all the time and therefore services are likely to be disrupted throughout today with last minute alterations. Customers are advised to check their journey before travelling on nationalrail.co.uk or journeycheck.com/tfwrail/

“We would like to thank customers in advance for their understanding.”

Telford & Wrekin Council was expecting a delivery of sandbags today and will distribute them from 10am.

A statement said: "We’re due a delivery of sandbags at Station Yard and Black Swan in Jackfield.

"Sandbags available at Wharfage car park.

"A delivery of sand has arrived at Ironbridge Park & Ride; we’ll be filling sandbags and distributing to anyone who needs them from 10am."

West Mercia Police took to social media to warn motorists of 'road closed' signs being moved in flooded areas today.

Yesterday West Mercia Police Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said that the various emergency services and their partners had been working together to keep people safe.

He said: "I want to thank the public for your help and support of all the agencies, emergency services and local authorities involved in the flood response."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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