Statement from Deputy Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, Julian Moss
West Mercia Police has issued a statement from Deputy Chief Constable of West Mercia Police Julian Moss, on behalf of the multi-agency flood response across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire:
We wanted to bring our communities an up-to-date picture of what we are potentially expecting for the next 12 – 24 hours.
Unfortunately due to the rain over the weekend both here and particularly in the Welsh hills, and further weather expected over the coming days, we could see some areas experience further flooding issues.
It is encouraging that in some areas of Herefordshire we are starting to see some water levels recede significantly and some villages and towns are now entering into the recovery and clean-up phase.
However, it is very important that communities acknowledge that there are still a significant number of areas not only subject to continued flooding but that we are expecting additional rain over the coming days and into the weekend, so we might see the levels in the Wye and the Lugg rise again, particularly around Mordiford and Ross-on-Wye.
Herefordshire Council's flood advice page (including applications for financial support) is www.herefordshire.gov.uk/dennis
Rain that fell across Wales at the weekend has topped up already swollen rivers and that is now making its way through Shropshire before reaching Worcestershire later in the week.
In Shropshire, Shrewsbury is expected to see another peak tomorrow morning with levels potentially higher than last week following storm Denis. Levels could overtop the barriers at Coleham Head. A rest centre has been set up for residents in Shirehall.
Similarly Ironbridge is expecting to see a peak tomorrow afternoon with levels potentially higher than last week, and they could also overtop the flood barriers.
Approximately 40 residents in Ironbridge have been advised to evacuate their homes tonight due to rising river levels, with the warning indicating a significant threat to life. Due to the current river levels and ground conditions there is potential for levels to flow over the Ironbridge barrier causing flooding of properties and roads in and around Wharfage.
If you have a query or concern about flooding, including requests for sandbags, please call our contact centre on 01952 384000 – lines open until 9pm tonight. A rest centre for residents or anyone else affected by flooding is now open at Tontine Hotel in the centre of Ironbridge.
Flood warnings are also in place in Bridgnorth with levels of the River Severn anticipated to peak tomorrow. Properties on Severn Terrace, Riverside and local caravan parks are likely to be affected. Roads in Shrewsbury town centre also continue to be affected by flood water and remain closed.
We are asking people in those areas to prepare and take appropriate action in relation to flooding precautions, and any travel arrangements for the morning. Teams on the ground are trying to speak to all the properties at risk in the area. Multi-agency teams are on the ground to provide help and advice.
In Worcestershire we believe that Bewdley could also see high-levels going into Wednesday morning. But the flood barriers have been extended to mitigate any over-topping issues. Worcester itself is expected to peak on Wednesday afternoon, with water reaching similar levels to last week. We will know more in regards to Upton and Uckinghall later in the week, but we are expecting that area of the county to peak on Thursday with similar levels to last week.
It is difficult to definitively predict the exact levels and timings, but the Environment Agency and the Met Office are continually updating the information available to partners to keep us as up to date as possible; they have warned us that a further named storm might hit the area of Friday.
Last week water levels were unprecedented in many places and we are now looking at further significant flooding. We recognise the impact on people that have not only gone through the trauma and disruption of being flooded once, but are now likely to find themselves being flooded again. On behalf of all the partners, I want to reassure people that the multi-agency flood response is still in place and we will do everything we can to keep people in affected areas safe and informed; this response will remain in place into next week. We continue to work around the clock in response to these issues.
I want to reiterate my thanks to everyone involved in the flood response and to the communities across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire for their cooperation and continued support during incredibly difficult times.
Information regarding the flooding, including road closures, support and other related issues will continue to be given on social media by the Environment Agency, local authorities and the emergency services, and via local news or radio channels.
Published: Tuesday, 25th February 2020