Hereford & Worcester

UK floods: Risk of more flooding in Herefordshire and Worcestershire

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Media captionMatt Beesley returned to his home on Friday

There will be more heavy rain overnight raising the risk of further flooding across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, forecasters say.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain in the area.

Twenty-one schools were partially or fully shut on Friday, with 21 flood warnings on rivers in the counties.

In Worcester, the main bridge into the town was reopened after levels fell slowly throughout Friday, although heavy rain and gales are expected.

The Sabrina footbridge reopened earlier in the day.

About 100 soldiers have been deployed in Herefordshire with 4x4s and specialist vehicles that can drive through up to 1.5m (6ft) of water.

They helped residents in Hampton Bishop lay out sandbags.

On Thursday, the Army arrived in Worcester to provide extra support to flood victims.

About 100 troops were deployed in the city with 300 more placed on standby for the West Mercia area.

Image caption Hylton Road remains closed to traffic

Severn 'staying high'

Additional soldiers have been sent to Leintwardine and Hoarwithy to assess the problem and help people who are cut off.

Supt Ivan Powell, of West Mercia Police, said the Army's presence was not meant to cause alarm but provide reassurance to residents and support relief efforts.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said it was preparing to respond to further flooding situations.

It said Army officers were currently based at its fire station in Upton. Boat crews are also stationed throughout the two counties.

Image caption The B4224 at Hampton Bishop in Herefordshire remained closed
Image caption Hylton Road was damaged by floodwater, BBC reporter Jerry Chester said
Image copyright Dave Throup
Image caption A number of roads in Worcester "remained impassable", the Environment Agency said

Bewdley is expected to be the worst-hit area in the two counties, with the River Severn due to rise 10-15cm (4-6in).

In Worcester, the River Severn was 5.30m (17ft 4in) high in the Barbourne area on Friday, while it reached 5.67m (18ft 7in) on Thursday.

It is expected to peak up to 5.50m on Sunday.

Nick Green, from the Environment Agency, said the expected rain would keep the river swollen.

"That rain's going to keep the levels that we see at the moment and maybe raise them up to what we saw earlier this week but we are not expecting them to go above that," he said.

Jon Fraser, Worcestershire County Council highways manager, said work would commence to clear a large pile of debris which has collected by the city's main bridge.

Image caption Businesses in Worcester and Upton-upon-Severn remained open

Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, said: "The story is going to be about surface water and the smaller rivers reacting, so there's going to be a lot of trouble on the roads.

"And then that's going to feed into the main river again and just push levels up slightly."

Road damage

Keir Rogers told BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester his farm in Hampton Bishop had been badly affected by surface water.

Image copyright Jackie Surtees
Image caption Army vehicles arrived in Upton-upon-Severn

"I can't do any farming at all, most of it's underwater," he said.

Mr Rogers, who has lived in the village all his life, said current levels were "on a par" with floods in 1988 and 2000.

Erica Hermann, from Herefordshire Council, said officials had been trying to pump water from the area since Monday.

"With the ground water being so saturated we are fighting nature but it will at least take some of the pressure off," she added.

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Media captionThe army is expected to remain in the region for at least two weeks

BBC reporter Jerry Chester said the road surface in Hylton Road, where levels had receded, had been damaged by flood water.

Supt Kevin Purcell of West Mercia Police said Western Power Distribution had told him power had now been restored to all affected homes

St Paul's Hostel on Tallow Hill - which took in a number of homeless people following the closure of the Night Assessment Centre (NAC) in Henwick Road - appealed for help with catering after its resident chef was taken ill.

The NAC was closed because of safety concerns crossing the flooded river into St John's for both staff and service users.

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