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Ironbridge flood barriers removed as River Severn continues to fall

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

The temporary flood barriers that have protected Ironbridge from the worst of the recent weeks' floods were remove this weekend as the river level continued to fall.

Environment Agency workers taking down the flood barriers. Picture: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environment Agency workers began dismantling the barriers in the Wharfage on Friday and continued yesterday.

The barriers have been in place since mid-February with a triple threat of Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge bringing torrential rain onto the region's rivers and resulting in the worst floods in decades.

The barriers held out for more than a week but were finally overwhelmed on February 26, when a section was pushed back by the force of the River Severn.

People were told to leave their homes immediately. Houses and businesses were evacuated, with dozens of residents taking refuge in the Best Western Valley Hotel.

The river level has receded since then, from a peak of 6.8m. The flood warnings which had been in place have now been removed.

An Environment Agency statement today said: "Our barriers are being put safely away. Ready for action when needed again."

Telford & Wrekin Council said the Wharfage would remain closed until at least Monday with an assessment of the road surface required.

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Chris Bainger of the Environment Agency assessed water levels around Shrewsbury, which at the Welsh Bridge are at 1.8m – more than 3m lower than last week.

"Importantly, we move into the recovery phase," he said. "Our thoughts are with all of those people who have been devastated by this flooding."

He also warned that as the river drops, fish could become stranded on newly-dry land.

If you see stranded fish, report it to 0800 807060.

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At Bridgnorth, where homes were flooded, the Severn has been falling steadily since the start of this week and is now within its normal range at 2.17m.

Meanwhile at Leintwardine, a Herefordshire village just south of the Shropshire border, an Environment Agency expert said the River Teme is in "uncharted territory".

Dave Throup compared photos of the dry riverbed in 2018 and a vast swamp of water from this year.

He admitted: "What happens next, I've no idea."

The Teme at Leintwardine is mow back within its normal range, at about 0.8m.

There is still a flood warning in place for the Severn-Vrynwy confluence, affecting areas like Melverley, Maesbrook and Llanymynech.

The Environment Agency's advice said: "River levels remain high but are beginning to fall at the Cae Howel river gauge following recent heavy rainfall. Flooding continues.

"Flooding is affecting low lying land and roads adjacent to the river from the Welsh border at Llawnt to Shrawardine near Shrewsbury.

"Further rainfall is forecast over the weekend. We are closely monitoring the situation. Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

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

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