Herefordshire & Worcestershire floods: Latest updates on Friday 14 February

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    Good morning

    We'll be bringing you the latest news, travel and weather updates for Worcester and the surrounding areas this Friday.

    Wet and windy 08:08:

    The weather is set to turn wet and windy through the morning as rain spreads northwards, some heavy at times.

    The rain will become more showery through the afternoon as winds increase further, bringing gales.

    Flood warnings 08:15:

    Twenty one flood warnings are still in place for the Severn, Wye, Teme and Avon across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.


    Flooding has closed major routes in Worcester.

    Roads closed 08:19:

    BBC Travel News reports several roads are still closed in Worcester city centre.

    The A44 Worcester Bridge, North Parade and Tybridge Street are all shut.

    So is the A443 Hylton Road, A449 Castle Street and Croft Road.

    Schools closed 08:26:

    Twenty schools are either partially or fully closed today.

    There are more details on the Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council websites.

    Soldiers on streets 08:38:

    One hundred soldiers are on the streets of Worcester this morning as the River Severn remains at some of the highest levels ever recorded.

    Army vehicles

    Soldiers are also being deployed in Herefordshire with 4x4s and specialist vehicles which can drive through up to 1.5m of water. They will be visiting people and properties thought to be vulnerable to rising water levels.

    Homeless service 08:44:

    Homeless people in Worcester have spent the night in alternative accommodation after the closure of the Night Assessment Centre on Henwick Road.

    They were transferred to St Paul's Hostel on Tallow Hill, because of safety concerns crossing the flooded river into St John's for both staff and service users.

    Park and Ride 08:50:

    Worcester City Council tweets: #Worcester #ParkAndRide running Sat and Sun 7am - 7pm FREE of charge inc. free parking. Pick ups from Perdiswell to City Centre. #Flooding

    Shuttle bus 08:57:

    The shuttle bus is continuing to run over Worcester's main bridge which remains closed, along with the Sabrina footbridge.


    Its hours have now been extended until 04:00 on Saturday and Sunday morning to help the city's night-time economy.

    As it happened
    Malvern flooding 09:04:

    Malvern police tweets: "#Floods closing Chapel Lane, Bransford but travel on A4103 should be unaffected. #Malvern #DriveSafe"

    Herefordshire floods 09:11: Nicola Goodwin BBC Hereford & Worcester

    I'm in the village of Hampton Bishop and the B4224 that runs through Hampton Bishop to Mordiford has been shut since Sunday.

    The ditches on either side of the road have overflowed. There's nowhere for the water to go.

    The village is surrounded by two rivers, the Lugg and the Wye, and both of those have breached their banks. The army will be arriving here today

    Throup's fans 09:18:

    The clamour for flood information has made Environment Agency manager Dave Throup a Twitter hit.

    Dave Throup

    Mr Throup, who looks after Herefordshire and Worcestershire, says he feels "slightly embarrassed but proud" by an account set up by a county councillor in his honour.

    River levels 09:28:

    The river level in the Barbourne area of Worcester, where it reached 5.67m (18ft 7in) yesterday, was 5.33m (17ft 5in) at 08:15 today.

    BBC Hereford and Worcester news editor Joe Baldwin said: "It peaked yesterday in Worcester and is now going down subject to any more rain."

    Road closed 09:38:

    Malvern police say Sherridge Road, between Leigh Sinton and Suckley, is closed, but Newnham Bridge A443 is now open.

    Footbridge reopens 09:42:

    BBC Hereford & Worcester tweets: BREAKING NEWS: The Sabrina Footbridge in Worcester has just been officially reopened.

    Video: Army help 09:50:

    The Army is helping with the relief effort in Worcester, after the River Severn reached its highest level in recent years.

    The army move in

    Midlands Today's Cath Mackie spoke to members of the relief team, including Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler and Supt Mark Travis, from West Mercia Police.

    She also spoke to residents Royston and Jenny Hill, Tim Evans, from Toys and Games of Worcester, and Chris Fox, from Mountain Warehouse.

    'We're very confident' 10:04:

    Forecasters are predicting more heavy rain today, with a Met Office yellow warning in place.

    Nick Green, from the Environment Agency, is confident its defences will be able to cope, saying: "All of the flood barriers still remain in place. All the pumps that we had at Bewdley are still in place.

    "So we're very confident that even though there's rain coming today, we should be able to maintain that town community as a dry place."

    Latest developments 10:08:
    • Sabrina footbridge in Worcester reopens
    • Soldiers to arrive in Herefordshire to help deal with flooding
    • Twenty one schools fully or partially closed in the two counties
    Soldiers in 4x4s 10:18:

    Soldiers with 4x4s and specialist vehicles will arrive in Herefordshire this morning.

    Hoarwithy to Carey road on Thursday

    They are being sent to Hoarwithy, Hampton Bishop and Leintwardine. About 100 troops are already on the ground in Worcestershire.

    Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler says: "Primarily they're working in the rural areas of Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

    Muddy walk 10:26: Jerry Chester BBC News Online

    The good news is that I've been able to walk to work at Hylton Road in Worcester today - no shuttle bus for me.

    The bad news is that you can now see the damage the floods have done. Trees are down on the riverbank and Tarmac's stripped from the road. Pictures to come.

    'Some of the worst floods' 10:35:

    Keir Rogers, who has lived in the Herefordshire village of Hampton Bishop all his life, says he is witnessing some of the worst flooding he has ever seen.

    He says: "I think it's on the par now with either 1998 or 2000.

    "It hasn't been like this, particularly off the road, [since] that period. 2007 that we all recall, there was more water on the road then, because that was coming through the neighbouring farm from the Lugg flats."

    Tree down 10:46:

    This tree on the riverbank by Hylton Road, Worcester, didn't survive the floods and high winds.

    Tree in river
    Dredging equipment sale 10:53:

    The Environment Agency is selling some of its dredging equipment at an auction in Herefordshire today.

    It includes barges and tug boats. The agency says private contractors will be used in future.

    Your photos 11:02:

    Julian Rouse emailed us some great photos of flooded Worcester city centre yesterday evening.


    Share your pictures with us.

    How have we coped? 11:09: Elliott Webb

    There's been a week of flooding chaos across the two counties, with roads and bridges closed as the rivers burst their banks and the storms bring flash flooding.

    More than 100 people have been evacuated from their homes and now soldiers are on the streets ready to help where they can.

    So how do you think we've coped? How do you rate the response of the organisations in charge and have you seen the return of the Dunkirk spirit, with neighbour helping neighbour? I'm on air until 12:00.

    People leaving homes 11:16: Nicola Goodwin BBC Hereford & Worcester

    Herefordshire Council's emergency planners don't think they'll need to evacuate any places, but some people have decided to leave their homes.

    A new pump is being put in place on the Mordiford Bridge this morning to protect Mordiford and Hampton Bishop.

    Battle against water 11:26: Jerry Chester BBC News Online

    The massed banks of pumps behind the flood bund in Hylton Road, Worcester, are finally winning their battle against the water that was pouring out of the drains.

    Pumps in Hylton Road, Worcester
    Plan to clear debris 11:34:

    Jon Fraser, from Worcestershire County Council, says plans are in place to clear the huge pile of debris stuck up against Worcester's main bridge.

    Flood debris trapped under the bridge

    He adds: "New Road is a lot better. The water has gone completely off the road and it is possible to walk across or cycle across New Road at the moment.

    "However, we are keeping the shuttle bus on running all day through to four o'clock in the morning."

    Dredging sale 'ridiculous' 11:42:

    The Environment Agency is selling some of its dredging equipment at an auction in Herefordshire today, including barges and tug boats. The agency says private contractors will be used in future.

    Farmer John Bishop, from Colwall, says: "I'm not saying that the equipment they're selling off today is going to make any difference to this horrendous situation.

    "But in the eyes of the general public, to be selling kit off at this time I should think is absolutely ridiculous."

    Latest developments 11:48:
    • Soldiers arrive in Herefordshire - at Hampton Bishop, Leintwardine and Hoarwithy
    • In Worcester, New Road is now accessible by foot and bike
    • Twenty one flood warnings remain for the Wye, Avon, Severn and Teme in the two counties
    Road damage 11:55: Jerry Chester BBC News Online

    Now the flood water has gone from Hylton Road in Worcester, you can see the damage it's done to the surface.

    Road damage in Hylton Road, Worcester
    Noah graffiti 12:04:

    BBC correspondent Phil Mackie tweets: Bet they regret this now they need an ark. #gloucester #floods

    Picture from Phil Mackie
    Reporters at the scene 12:14:

    Reporter Cath Mackie is in Worcester (pictured), getting the latest on the situation there.


    Ben Godfrey is spending the day with the inland rescue team based in Worcestershire.

    River level drops 12:22:

    The river level in the Barbourne area of Worcester, where it reached 5.67m (18ft 7in) yesterday, had gone down further to 5.3m (17ft 4in) at 11:00 today.

    Power restored 12:32:

    Supt Kevin Purcell, from West Mercia Police, tweets: Silver meeting for Worcestershire completed. Great news from Western Power all properties in Worcestershire have power restored.

    Latest developments 12:40:
    • Power restored to all Worcestershire properties, Western Power says
    • Soldiers arrive in Herefordshire to help the response to flooding
    • Plans in place to clear the huge pile of debris stuck up against Worcester's main bridge
    12:50: Trystan Jones BBC News

    I've just spoken to Jeremy Perkins, an online moderator with The Farming Forum. He tells me it's ridiculous the Environment Agency is selling off this dredging equipment and said there had been outcry among the farming community.

    "The timing couldn't be worse, but it shouldn't be sold at all. There should be a national reserve of this kit."

    Bus changes 12:58:

    Crowngate bus station is expected to remain open despite Worcester city centre bridge being closed, but some buses are serving alternative stops, the county council said earlier.

    The council has listed the full details.

    'Absolutely saturated' 12:59:

    Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, says his main concern is standing water.

    He says: "Everywhere is absolutely saturated. There's already flooding on the roads.

    "If we do get this belt of heavy rain which is expected through sort of midday and early afternoon, then there's going to be some pretty appalling driving conditions again I think."

    Stuck against bridge 13:11: Jerry Chester BBC News Online

    There's an awful lot of flood debris stuck against the parapet of Worcester bridge - including a life belt from somewhere upstream.

    Flood debris against bridge
    Watch: Floods from the train 13:22:

    Dr Dominic Horne filmed flooded Worcester from a train crossing the River Severn earlier this week.

    Machinery sale 13:35:

    The Environment Agency is selling some of its dredging equipment at an auction in Herefordshire today, including barges and tug boats.

    It is not the first time the agency has sold off machinery at Brightwells. In December, a similar piece of kit, a long reach excavator, was sold for £47,000.

    Mobile home site 13:45:

    A mobile home site at Holt Fleet, in Worcestershire - seen here on Thursday - has been flooded.

    Holt Fleet
    'Keeping spirits up' 13:54: Carson Wishart BBC Hereford & Worcester reporter

    I've been in Waterworks Road in Worcester, where many residents installed their own defences following the 2007 summer floods.

    Waterworks Road, Worcester

    Homeowner Chris Gander told me: "We're all keeping our spirits up as best we can because we're all like one big family on this street.

    "Luckily, my neighbour has a boat if things get any worse, so we won't need to call out the lifeguard."

    Machinery sale 14:13: Trystan Jones BBC News Online

    A spokesman for the Environment Agency told me selling off equipment was all part of managing a working fleet and designed to recoup some of the cost for taxpayers.

    He said the excavators due to be sold in Hereford were eight years old and due to be replaced.

    However, farmer Jeremy Perkins told me that selling off an excavator of this age was "like selling off a car that's only done 30,000 miles".

    Floods recede 14:24: Jerry Chester BBC News Online

    The flood water is still there around the bridge in Worcester, but there's a lot less than over the past two days.

    Worcester bridge
    Latest developments 14:31:
    • Army is moving into Hereford in response to the flooding
    • A briefing on the latest flooding position is being held at Worcester police station at 15:30
    • The emergency services, the Environment Agency, the army and local councils are holding the next of their regular meeting at 17:00 at County Hall, Worcester
    Matching waders 14:36: Bethan Bell BBC News Online

    I've just made my way in from Tenbury Wells, and although there is a lot of standing water on the roads there are no seriously deep floods - so no turning around for me this morning.

    Although still closed to cars, plenty of people were walking along Hylton Road, as the Sabrina footbridge is open.

    Everyone I saw was wearing wellies - and a couple were also looking very stylish in a pair of waders each.

    Army in Upton 14:45:

    Jackie Surtees, from Upton, tweets: The Royal Irish's vehicles should be able to drive through most of the floods around here

    Himbleton School shuts 14:54:

    Worcestershire County Council tweets: New school closure - Himbleton First School, Droitwich. Closed for the rest of today

    Show some love.... 15:05:

    A romantic, yet practical, message from the Environment Agency which tweets:

    Valentine message

    Roses are red, Violets are blue, I've signed up for flood warnings, and so should you.

    Rescue team 15:12:

    West Midlands Search and Rescue team help out in Worcester on Wednesday afternoon.

    rescue boat

    BBC News Online reporter Trystan Jones plans to go on a water exercise with them soon.

    Dredging sale 15:21: Trystan Jones BBC News

    The Environment Agency said it had bought 10 new and improved models over the last three months.

    It added, however, that it had "very recently" decided to withdraw the three excavators from the Herefordshire auction today and intended to "recondition them".

    Army ready 15:33:

    This was the Army vehicles at the Shire Hall in Hereford, before they were sent out around the county.

    Army vehicles at the Shire Hall in Hereford
    Defences 'stable' 15:43:

    Supt Mark Travis tweets: Defences are stable, the water levels will not exceed our current position, we are visiting flooded city and rural locations with @HWFire

    Latest developments 15:57:
    • The Met Office is forecasting heavy rain this afternoon, meaning the River Severn could rise again
    • A decision over whether to reopen the main Worcester bridge to cars will be made at 17:00
    • A briefing on the current flooding situation is held at Worcester Police Station
    Football match cancelled 16:04:

    Tomorrow's match between Worcester City FC and Barrow, at Aggborough, has been called off.

    Floods around cathedral 16:08:

    This picture of the flood water around Worcester Cathedral yesterday comes from Elaine Truby.

    Flood water
    Bin collections 16:12:

    Worcester City Council tells residents "Please leave your bin out if it hasn't been emptied on your usual day, and it will be collected ASAP.

    "Our collection teams are battling very tough conditions due to the floods and road closures."

    Free samosas 16:17: Phil Mackie Reporter, BBC Radio 5 live

    I'm at Worcester bridge, where spirits are being kept up with some food handouts.

    Man giving food

    The guys from the Guru Nanak Temple in Walsall are dishing out curry, pakoras and samosas to workers at Worcester bridge.

    Your photos 16:24:

    Christine Whittall, from Pershore, emailed us this photo of a "watery Worcester".

    'May need a boat' 16:27:

    Luke Greaz, who lives on the Malvern Hills, tweets: May need a boat to get home from Gloucestershire today. #CommuteProblems

    Pre-meeting meeting 16:30:

    Earlier, Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, tweeted: Multi agency briefing prior to press conference at #worcester police station

    Men sitting about in a room
    Dredging sale called off 16:40:

    A sale of dredging equipment by the Environment Agency has been called off at the last minute.

    The agency had been criticised for the plan.

    Free park and ride 16:45:

    To support Worcester city centre being "open for business", the county council says it will be operating the W1 park and ride service from Perdiswell to the city centre between 07:00 and 19:00 on Saturday and Sunday this week.

    The service will be free for all passengers and there will be no charge to park.

    Upton bridge 16:55:

    The bridge at Upton is still unusable, but water is not at high as it was in 2007.

    Upton bridge
    Flooding at house 16:58:

    This house at Grimley, seen here on Thursday, is one of those affected by the floods.

    Latest developments 17:11:
    • The Army says it will stay in a support role for up to four more weeks
    • Damaged roads will not reopen until the surface is made safe
    • Heavy rain and gales are expected this evening
    'Support local business' 17:14:

    BBC foreign affairs reporter Gavin Lee tweets: Spotted outside a Worcester restaurant, a message for the any #floodtourists in the area #worcesterfloods #floods

    Peak levels 17:18:

    The Environment Agency tweets: Here is a graph showing a record of the River Severn peaks during February so far: . Stay #Floodaware

    Chef needed 17:21:

    St Paul's Hostel for the homeless says it urgently needs a chef during the flooding.

    "As if the floods weren't enough of a headache, the chef who cooks meals at the Hostel is off ill," the manager writes.

    More information is on Worcester city's Facebook page.

    Army in Hereford 17:25: Nicola Goodwin BBC Hereford & Worcester

    There are 100 soldiers based at the Shire Hall in Hereford and being deployed across the county.


    At the moment the Army are in Hampton Bishop, helping residents put out sandbags.

    Your photos: Flooded racecourse 17:28:

    Jacinta Kal sent us some pictures of flooding in Worcester she took yesterday afternoon.

    Flooded racecourse

    She says: "Hopefully all will be back to normal again soon."

    Weir management 17:34:

    Dave Mullett, from Pershore, got in touch to suggest river levels could be managed by the better control of weirs.

    "Lowering the river water level for a month or so would also help to reduce the water tables and enable the land to soak up more water and create more space in the rivers, enabling them to cope with sudden downpours or extensive periods of rain."

    Share your opinions with us

    Travel problems 17:36:

    Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, tweets: The predicted travel problems caused by spells of heavy rain & gales is now happening. Take extreme care.

    Weather map
    #Open4Business 17:38:

    Flooded in places, but Worcester is still #Open4Business, the Worcester News reports.

    The paper is also running a live page about the flooding, with news, pictures and updates.

    Army could stay 17:42: Eleanor Hashim BBC News reporter

    I've been at the city council meeting at Worcester police station.

    The Army says it is here to support the emergency services and, if the weather gets worse, soldiers could be in the area for another four weeks.

    Watery romance 17:44:

    Lovers are being told flooding is no obstacle to romance this Valentine's night.

    Worcester city centre will be serviced by a shuttle bus until 04:00 and shops and restaurants are open.

    Debris clear up 17:49:

    Jon Fraser, from the Highways Agency, says the removal of the debris under Worcester Bridge will start tomorrow morning.


    Staff will be using a giant mechanical arm.

    Ambulances on standby 17:54:

    West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging the public to take some simple precautions to stay safe.

    Additional vehicles with 4x4 capabilities are on standby to provide further resilience if needed.

    Bins collected 17:58:

    Worcester City Council emails to say: "Despite very tough conditions, especially not being able to use Worcester Bridge, the Worcester waste collection teams have today managed to catch up with all outstanding collections bar one.

    "The team will be out tomorrow at 6am to catch up on those last bins in Field Close."

    Wheelie bin drama 18:05:

    The Environment Agency's Dave Throup tweets: You would not believe the conditions in #Worcester at the moment. wheelie bin just bounced over the top of my bonnet

    rainy road
    Bridge reopens 18:07:

    Worcester road bridge has reopened, the council has confirmed.

    The shuttle bus will continue to run until 04:00 and the situation will be reviewed tomorrow.

    Latest developments 18:11:
    • Worcester's city bridge has reopened to traffic
    • River levels are falling
    • Debris under the bridge will be cleared tomorrow
    Not over 18:13:

    Despite flood water receding and roads reopening, about 50 homes in Worcester are still badly flooded.

    Flooded houses aerial
    Midlands Today 18:16: Cath Mackie BBC Midlands Today

    In the last half hour the Worcester road bridge has reopened in the centre of the city as river levels have continued to fall today.

    But flooding is still causing problems for some residents, whose houses have been flooded by sewage as well as river water.

    More details from me on BBC Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One.

    Samosa love 18:19:

    Samosas given out to workers (and reporters) at Worcester Bridge by the Guru Nanak Temple have made their way back to BBC Hereford and Worcester's office.

    Tim with samosa box

    Producer Tim Race says they are "tasty".

    'Don't worry' 18:24:

    Lt Col Ivor Gardiner from the Royal Irish Regiment, says 100 more troops will join the 200 already deployed in Worcestershire.

    He said: "Don't worry, we will look after the most vulnerable".

    New Road clear 18:29:

    New Road in Worcester is now clear, although not yet open to traffic.

    New road

    Workers are now removing pumping equipment.

    Half term warning 18:31:

    Emergency services have warned parents to make sure they know their children are safe this half term.

    Children are fascinated with flood water, which can be dangerous, they say.

    High-level discussion 18:34:

    Dave Throup from the Environment Agency tweets: Discussing military deployment in #worcestershire at Silver Command

    Weather tonight 18:42: Rebecca Wood BBC Weather

    Heavy showers are expected to continue tonight, with wind strengths increasing through this evening.

    Gusts of up to 50mph possible and at times the rain become more persistent.

    Tomorrow will be a blustery day with showers continuing through the day, but winds will ease and it'll turn drier and brighter later in the day.

    Diglis flooding 18:45:

    Elaine Truby sent this picture of the floodwater around the Diglis Hotel in Worcester yesterday.

    Flooding at Diglis
    Wind damage 18:49:

    Hereford and Worcester fire service tweets: 14th Feb 18:10 crew from #Bewdley assisted Northwood Ln, Bewdley with a dangerous roof that had come away from its chalet, electric isolated

    Army ready 18:51:

    Troops and vehicles are on standby in Herefordshire, where hard-to-reach communities will be prioritised for help.

    Army van
    Bridge crossed 18:54:

    Worcester road bridge is open and the first few vehicles have crossed.

    Car on bridge

    The shuttle bus will continue until 04:00.

    Stay safe 18:56:

    Worcestershire County Council tweets: Extremely dangerous conditions on the roads tonight guys. Please drive carefully and get home safely to your loved ones #Worcestershire

    Catch up 18:58:

    BBC Midlands Today was back in Worcester tonight. If you missed the programme, catch up on the BBC iPlayer.

    Say it with flowers 18:59:

    BBC Hereford and Worcester presenter Tammy Gooding gets a thank you bouquet from a listener for the flood information she's been providing.

    Tammy Gooding

    "Lin from Angel Flowers at Angel Place sent the flowers, what an unexpected surprise!" Tammy said.

    19:00: Bethan Bell Journalist, BBC News

    Thanks for joining us, that's all the flood news, travel and weather updates from us for today. Find out the latest information on flooding across the country on the BBC News website.


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