River Severn Flooding: Homes and businesses evacuated – BBC


People have been rescued, properties evacuated and trains cancelled due to flooding along the River Severn.
Major incidents have been declared in Bewdley, Worcestershire, and Ironbridge, Shropshire, where severe flood warnings are in place – indicating a risk to life.
Large parts of Shrewsbury town centre are also under water.
There are also dozens of less-severe flood warnings in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Nick Green from the Environment Agency (EA) said on Tuesday evening that levels in Bewdley, Worcestershire, were in excess of 16.4 ft (5m) and a further 12in (30cm) was possible which may cause the water to go over the barriers and flood homes.
"There's a lot of water going through the system here," he said.
People living near temporary flood barriers were advised to leave their homes before defences were overtopped, which may happen overnight. The Severn is set to peak in the town on Wednesday.
The flooding follows heavy rain during three storms over the last week – Dudley, Eunice and Franklin.
Franklin hammered parts of the UK on Monday and came days after Storm Eunice killed three people and left 1.4 million homes without power.
There were no train services between Hereford and Shrewsbury on Tuesday because of flooding on the line, with some parts blocked after a landslip. Several roads have also been closed.
River levels were forecasted to remain high for a prolonged period due to further rainfall this week, the EA said.
In Shropshire, a series of evacuations were carried out in different parts of the county.
Homes in the Ironbridge Gorge were among those to be evacuated, including properties in the Jackfield area.
Resident Debbie Stokes said: "I've had to climb through people's front gardens with all my bags.
"We're going to have to look at something… to help us getting out in the future, because it's now, times like this, when you realise just how dangerous this can be."
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Rae Evans, from The Wharfage, was evacuated from her home for the fourth time in three years.
The councillor for Telford & Wrekin Council's Woodside ward said: "When I bought the house it said it might flood once in 70 years, so that is quite different.
"I would say I bought the house because the barriers are there, I wouldn't have bought it otherwise."
The Wharfage has been closed to pedestrians. River levels there have reached 6.2m, meaning the area is no longer deemed safe.
The peak was expected on Tuesday afternoon and an EA update at about 19:00 GMT said the temporary barriers at Ironbridge were forecast to potentially exceed their capacity and overtop, causing flooding to properties on The Wharfage.
Earlier, the leader of the council, Shaun Davies, said: "The river still has not peaked and there's still some more stressful hours ahead."
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"We are doing all we can to support residents and are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best," Mr Davies said.
"Some properties have no protection from flood defences and are still under water, and we have evacuated properties behind defences that could be breached while supporting those who have decided to stay put."
In Shrewsbury, the River Severn appears to have peaked at 16.9ft (5.15m), 3.9 inches (10cm) short of the record level set in 2000.
One person was rescued by the fire service from Smithfield Road in the town at about 02:45 GMT.
Many roads in the town centre were under water on Tuesday morning. Abbey Foregate car park has been closed, with English Bridge and Welsh Bridge only open to pedestrians.
Residents said they were getting tired of flooding in Shrewsbury, which was becoming more regular.
"While it brings the community together, we are getting fed up of it," Jonnie Ashley, 37, said.
"Every time we flood, it's a big clean-up operation for those by the river, and as our town centre is essentially surrounded by the river, it has an effect on how people can go about day-to-day living."
In Worcestershire, Bewdley is braced for the breaching of flood barriers, where temporary defences at Beales Corner overtopped in 2021.
Clare Dinnis from the EA said "a lot of work" had been done "since last year to put some additional stability behind the barriers and to improve the way we've used them".
She added: "Really importantly, we've got approval for a permanent flood defence here which is in the early stages of design."
Thirty-two flood warnings were issued for the River Severn, including in Worcester where extra flood pumps were installed on Hylton Road, which is flooded and no longer deemed safe to use.
Worcester Bridge was closed to incoming traffic from the St John's side. The Sabrina footbridge was also closed.
Streets including Severn Terrace, Croft Road and Castle Street were also closed due to flooding.
In Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, the river has burst its banks and spilled out on to the flood plain. The Wye peaked in Hereford and the Old Bridge has reopened.
The EA has warned that areas around Wilton, Herefordshire, may flood. The water has reached 15.2ft (4.64m) and the highest level ever recorded at Wilton was 15.6ft (4.77m) in February 2020.
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