Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire flooding: Bewdley defences to be put up

Kidderminster flood defences
Image caption The EA said the Kidderminster flood scheme was protecting the town centre

More flood barriers are to be put up in north Worcestershire, the Environment Agency (EA) has said.

The EA said defences would go up in Severnside North, Bewdley, on Saturday and others may follow over the weekend.

Private defences which cost a group of homeowners £12,000 each were put up in Evesham on Friday.

Five flood warnings were issued by the agency in Worcestershire. They include the River Avon at Evesham, Strensham, Bredon and Wyre Piddle.

A warning for the River Severn at Callow End was also in place.

Guy Stevenson, who owns one of the 12 houses on Waterside in Evesham which have put up private defences, said: "We don't think the water is going to come in - hopefully anyway."

Mr Stevenson said it "would have been nice" if the council had paid for the flood defences but accepted that "sometimes if you live by the river you have to accept these things".

1,000 sandbags

Image caption The flood defences around Kempsey cost £1.5m

Waterside in Evesham has been closed to traffic since Thursday after the River Avon burst its banks flooding part of the town.

Bridges across the River Avon at Eckington, Fladbury and Besford all remain closed by flood water, along with several roads, according to Worcestershire County.

The local authority said its gritter fleet would be out on Friday night to try and keep other roads open as temperatures were expected to drop below freezing.

It said the flood gates at New Street, Upton-upon-Severn, had been closed.

The EA said water levels had been "too high" on Friday to clear flood debris building up at Powick bridge, across the River Teme just outside Worcester.

Dave Throup, from the agency, said pumps on the Kempsey flood defence were "going full tilt" to protect the village from flooding in Hatfield Brook.

The £1.5m flood alleviation project around the Worcestershire village opened earlier this year and was built after the flooding in July 2007.

Wychavon District Council tweeted that it had distributed more than 1,000 sandbags since the flooding began.

Further rain

West Mercia Police and the Safer Roads Partnership warned that further flooding at the weekend, which has been predicted, could lead to more travel disruption.

Image caption 12 houses in Evesham paid £12,000 to install their own flood defences

The Met Office warned that many areas across the West Midlands were likely to experience a period of very windy, wet weather with up to 30mm of rain over the weekend.

It said the public should be aware that some flooding was likely and winds could potentially cause damage to buildings and uproot some trees.

Motorists have been advised not to drive through flood water on roads.

The AA said it had helped pull more than 70 cars out of flood water across the West Midlands by 14:00 GMT on Friday.

Rail services in north Worcestershire had been delayed or cancelled after a tree fell on the line, London Midland said.

The operator said the tree, which was across the line between Blakedown and Kidderminster, had now been moved and services were back to normal.

Hereford and Worcester Fire Service urged drivers to take extreme care and heed road closures and flood warning signs as further rain was expected on Saturday.

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