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More flood barriers going up in Shropshire as river levels continue to rise

By Sue Austin | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

The next phase of flood barriers were going up in Shrewsbury's Frankwell Car Park today, with river levels on the River Severn expected to peak in Shrewsbury this afternoon and in Buildwas and Ironbridge over the weekend.

Frankwell Car Park was closed this morning as Environment Agency workers began the task of putting up phase two of the flood barriers by the Welsh bridge.

Owners of cars and other vehicles left on the car park overnight were urged to move them urgently. Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, said the barriers did not protect all of the car park.

However, a number of motorists had not heeded the warning this morning, with their vehicles partially submerged.

Councillor Lezley Picton tweeted: "Oh no! Looks like a number of people failed to heed the warning to move cars from #frankwellcarpark despite warnings from @EnvAgencyMids, @ShrewsburyTC and @ShropCouncil. Still some cars on dry land, best move them sooner rather than later #soggybottoms #shrewsbury #Shropshire."

Flood barriers at Frankwell

Flood warnings - meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required, have been issued for:

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  • River Severn at the Showground and The Quarry, Shrewsbury
  • River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook
  • River Vyrnwy at Melverley

Flood Alerts - meaning flooding is possible, be prepared, have been issued for:

  • Rea Brook and Cound Brook
  • River Severn in Shropshire
  • Severn Vyrnwy Confluence
  • Tern and Perry Catchments
  • The River Dee Catchment in England from Whitchurch to Chester
  • Upper Teme

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As waterlogged homes and businesses struggled to cope and roads disappeared under mini-lakes, a meteorologist estimated that the county has been hit by an average three months’ worth of rain in a few days. And the region is bracing itself for more of the same today.

There are flood alerts along the entire 220-mile length of the River Severn. The highest levels are upstream of Shrewsbury and around Worcester, where the full River Teme and River Avon are causing water to back up.

Heavy rain and flooding was causing disruption to trains running between Shrewsbury and Newtown.

Transport for Wales said trains running between these stations may be cancelled or revised.

Further coverage:

A car ended up on its roof after the driver lost control on surface water on the M54 this morning.

Sporting events in Shropshire look likely to be cancelled because of waterlogged pitches. Just across the Welsh border near Oswestry the Erddig Park Run has been cancelled.

The downpour has caused a town council in Telford to cancel its annual community event. Malinslee & Dawley Bank Day was set to go ahead tomorrow, with a live music stage, food vendors, fair ground, activities and a number of attractions including a display from BMX group Wrekin Riders, all ready to take place.

But Great Dawley Town Council said yesterday it has cancelled the event due to the Old Park School playing fields being waterlogged.

Severn Hospice has had to cancel the Kapow! inflatable obstacle course that was due to be held at the Greenhous West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury on Sunday after rising water levels on the River Severn flooded the site.

Staff at the showground were forced to leave the office on the showground on Friday morning when flood levels rose suddenly.

Flooding in Shrewsbury

However, organisers of tomorrow's Shrewsbury Carnival say the event will definitely go ahead and have urged people to come out and support it.

Roadworks have been put aside and the pocket park in Shoplatch will be removed for the day to allow the procession to move through the town centre to the Quarry.

Organisers met at the Quarry earlier this week and were satisfied that high water levels would not affect the venue.

"The carnival raises money for local charities and we need people to come out and support the event," they said in a statement.

Weather professionals, councils and the emergency services will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days, though it is expected that things will improve leading into the weekend.

Mr Throup said: “We are expecting more rain today and, given how full the rivers are, it can make a big difference so we are monitoring the situation.”

He added: “We’re urging people not to drive through flood water and to plan their routes.

“There have been a lot of reports of people getting their cars stuck in water.”

Friday mid-morning forecast 14/06/19

The Met Office has warned of more wet weather to come on Friday, and said sunshine and showers will form the backdrop for an unsettled weekend, with thundery outbreaks in places.

Elsewhere in the West Midlands, some towns and villages across the area have been affected by flooding this week, including busy streets in Stafford, fields in Dudley, and areas of Wolverhampton.

A car was recovered from Trescott Ford, near Shipley. Photo: @alisonburkex

A car got into difficulties in Trescott Ford, near Shipley. Recovery firm Burke Bros snapped the photo at the notorious Trescott Ford, before heading in to rescue the vehicle.

And drivers were hit with up to 30-minute delays on a stretch of the M6 Northbound yesterday due to potholes suddenly appearing.

Emergency repairs were carried out on the stretch between Junction 13 for Stafford South and Junction 14 for Stafford North, with approximately 4.5 miles of congestion due to potholes suddenly appearing.

Further afield, hundreds of passengers were stranded because of a landslide and a military helicopter was deployed when a river burst its banks following heavy rainfall which caused disruption to parts of the country.

A landslip near Corby, Northamptonshire, stopped an East Midlands Train from London to Nottingham on Thursday and saw a second train that came to rescue them also become stuck.

Around 400 passengers were stranded for up to eight hours before being evacuated and one person was treated at the scene in an ambulance by paramedics.

The train operator apologised to the customers involved in the incident, calling it a “challenging situation” due to rubble and serious flooding curbing rescue efforts.

Some East Midlands Trains routes were still affected on Friday morning with National Rail engineers on site to clear the line.

Residents are taken to safety in an inflatable boat by rescue workers in Wainfleet All Saints, in Lincolnshire (Joe Giddens/PA)

Meanwhile, emergency services rescued residents from their homes and a Royal Air Force helicopter was drafted in after a river burst its banks in Lincolnshire.

A Chinook helicopter was deployed in the town of Wainfleet to drop sand in an attempt to stop the flow of water after the River Steeping experienced a breach.

Seventy properties were hit by flooding, but Lincolnshire County Council warned that up to 720 could be affected after it said the town had more than two months of rain in just two days.

Properties in the area are expected to be without power until Friday afternoon.

Some 17 flood warnings and 56 flood alerts were issued by the Environment Agency on Friday.

As of 3pm on Thursday, Chillingham Barns in Northumberland had seen the most rainfall, with 48mm falling throughout the day.

Not a lot like summer

The unsettled weather is a far cry from what it’s been like in previous Junes.

This time last year people in Shropshire were basking in sunshine and temperatures of up to 28°C.

The England football team were fighting their way through the group stages of the World Cup 2018, with fans taking to their local beer gardens to enjoy what felt like endless blue skies – a stark contrast to the June of 2019.

Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Dan Suri said: “It has been a very wet week for many and some parts of England, particularly in the east have seen almost two months’ worth of rain in 48 hours.

“Severe weather warnings for rain and thunderstorms are in place over the next few days and these are likely to cause further surface water flooding, river flooding and travel disruption.

Wettest

“The development of weather conditions leading to thunderstorms and intense rainfall can happen extremely quickly, creating a challenge for forecasters. We will update warnings accordingly, but we urge people to continue to check the forecast and the app for updates during this period.”

According to the Met Office, the wettest ever June for the UK as a whole was in 2012 ,when an average of 149mm of rain fell . As of June 11, the UK has seen 55.9mm of total rainfall.

Between 1981 and 2010, the average total June rainfall was 73.4mm.

Met Office meteorologist Ollie Claydon said it was quite common for summer rain to fall in intense periods, unlike in winter when it tends to be spread over the month.

He explained: “It’s not unusual to see high volumes of monthly rainfall in a small number of days.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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