Warwickshire flooding: Schools, roads and trains affected

Flooding in Harbury, Warwickshire, that caused the cancellation of trains into Birmingham

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Schools have been shut, trains have been cancelled and roads have been closed after heavy rain led to flooding across Warwickshire.

The county council said 10 schools were closed after about 2in of rain fell on Wednesday morning.

Many London Midland, Virgin, Chiltern and CrossCountry train services were hit by delays of up to 45 minutes.

Standing water caused disruption on roads in the south of the county.

By Wednesday night, there were several flood warnings in place in places along the rivers Leam, Anker, Stour, Arrow, Dene, Alne, Blythe and Tame across Warwickshire.

Earlier, all rail lines between Northampton and Rugby were blocked. The line has since reopened but train operators warned significant delays would follow.

Standing water

National Rail Enquiries said flooding in the Hampton-in-Arden area meant journeys between Birmingham International and Coventry would be delayed by up to 25 minutes.

Analysis

We had large amounts of rainfall between midnight and 12pm across large parts of the West Midlands - up to 2in of rain in some areas, which is a lot in a short period of time.

The rain is falling on already saturated ground which is causing what we saw a lot of today. The soil can't take it, so the water runs into the roads and culverts become blocked.

At the moment the worst of the rain has cleared away but our concern is a band of heavy rain tomorrow - particularly over western parts of the West Midlands.

We have people out clearing blockages so rivers can take as much water as they can, but people will need to remain vigilant.

In Harbury, water flooded on to the train tracks, leading to the cancellation of some services into Birmingham.

There is currently no rail service between Shirley and Stratford-upon-Avon because of flooding at Woods End.

Callers to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire reported seeing standing water on many of the county's roads, particularly in south Warwickshire.

The A428 Coventry Road in Church Lawford was closed at the School Street junction because of flooding.

Motorists were also advised to approach several other roads with care because of standing water, including the A5 in Mancetter, the A423 in Southam, the A452 in Leamington Spa and the A452 in Coleshill.

Our Lady's Catholic Primary School in Princethorpe, near Rugby, one of the schools in the county forced to shut, closed at about 11:30 GMT following flooding in Leamington Road.

Head teacher Margaret Patrick said it was the third time she remembered flooding affecting the school.

She added: "This is not the worst we've had, and usually at night it goes down. We're hoping to reopen like normal tomorrow."

'Running water'
Lorry stuck at the ford near Kenilworth Castle Shyam Bagga took a photo of a lorry stuck in a ford near Kenilworth Castle

Frank Shaw, chairman of Solihull and Leamington Rail Users Association, said it had been one of the worst downpours he had seen for a long time, and thought safety measures being taken on the railways were sensible.

He said: "The big problem is if you start getting running water on to the railway lines, coming off the fields, it washes the ballast away.

"You don't want to run the trains when that happens."

Shyam Bagga took a photograph of a lorry which had become stuck while trying to drive through a ford near Kenilworth Castle.

He said: "As it ploughed through, it slowly came to a halt... and smoke billowed out from the exhaust pipes.

"The chap regretted driving across and just rolled up his window and made a call, waiting there for some help to arrive."

The Environment Agency has produced a live flood warnings map to alert people to potential problems in their areas.

BBC Midlands Today weather presenter Shefali Oza said the rain was due to ease off for the rest of Wednesday, but warned more heavy rain was expected on Thursday with parts of the region likely to get 20-50mm of rain.

She said Herefordshire and Worcestershire were due to be the worst affected but heavy downpours were expected to spread into Warwickshire.

Geoff Little, from Warwickshire County Council's road safety team, warned drivers to take extra care on wet roads.

He said: "The important thing is to leave a lot of space.

"People get too close to each other. It's essential to leave good gaps between vehicles and you need to double that gap in the wet."

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