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After the floods – what a difference a week makes
AS the flood waters finally recede, the big clean-up began in Worcester.
River levels throughout the region were finally returning to normal this week, but the falling waters left behind a thick layer of mud and debris.
Yesterday the Environment Agency revealed that 620 homes across Worcestershire were protected from flooding by effective flood defences during the December floods.
Over the Christmas period the EA issued 14 separate flood warnings to 750 properties across Worcestershire.
River levels on the Severn generally rose 1.5 metres above the typical range.
The gauge at Barbourne (Worcester north) reached a peak of 5.23m on December 23. On the same day, the gauge at Diglis (Worcester south) peaked at 4.75m.
These levels had fallen to 2.17m and 1.82m respectively yesterday.
David Sutton, service manager for cleaner and greener city at Worcester City Council, said yesterday was the first time the team had really started the clean-up and he suspected they would be out all week and could carry forward into next week.
Mr Sutton said they had just been finishing off the clean up of the November floods when the river rose again over the Christmas period.
He said: “It’s a lot of work. There’s five miles of pathway and some of it is very wide. There’s all sorts of debris, branches and things. We’re clearing that away.
“There’s a lot of silt and there’s particular areas where the river gets quite deep so the silt gets quite difficult to clean off.
“We’re using snow shovels and then using hoses to wash it away when it does become more difficult to remove. We need some not too heavy rain to wash that away and hopefully not too freezing temperatures, which they’ve said we could get this weekend.”
Mr Sutton said the team would be working hard to get the riverside path back to normal as soon as possible. The pathway is currently passable but Mr Sutton advised people to wear wellies.
He said: “It’s no longer closed but I would say to people to take care when they are cycling.”