The wellies are back!

Johyn Anyon 2/2/14Worcester Floods..............................A man feeds the swans at South Quay (3758850)

SWAN LAKE: A walker only just manages to keep his feet dry as he feeds the swans at South Quay in Worcester, which is underwater yet again after heavy weekend flooding. Picture by John Anyon. 0514512002.

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WORCESTER is underwater yet again as the soggy start to 2014 still shows no sign of relenting.

Large parts of the county were submerged by more serious flooding over the weekend as already swollen rivers burst their banks.

One man needed a dramatic rescue after tumbling into the river Severn in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The scenes came as January was reported to be the wettest ever for the county since records began all the way back in 1889.

And despite the promise of brighter weather to come, there is not set to be any immediate end to the floods.

Ten flood warnings were still in place across the county yesterday while in neighbouring Gloucestershire there were three ‘severe’ warnings resulting from a tidal surge through the Severn.

And West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging people to heed the warnings and stay away from floodwater after pulling a man from the river at the back of Worcester Technical College, in Deansway, in the pitch black at about 1am yesterday.

An ambulance together with a paramedic officer in a rapid response vehicle attended and managed to pull a man to safety from the edge of the fast flowing river.

He was assessed at the scene before being taken to Worcester Hospital for further treatment.

An ambulance service spokesman said the man had an “extremely fortunate” escape.

“It is important that everyone follows the advice of the Environment Agency and other emergency services and stay away from flood control channels, rivers, streams and other waterways at this time,” he said. “Not heeding the many safety warnings puts lives at risk, including ambulance staff and other emergency service personnel called to waterway incidents.”

In Worcester, Pitchcroft racecourse and the county cricket ground are again under water and city centre car parks were quickly closed as spaces started to be engulfed.

With the floods causing chaos for sporting fixtures across the county, some took the chance to participate in some less common pursuits - with wakeboarders and canoeists again making a splash at the sunken racecourse.

The Environment Agency says flood levels in most parts of the county peaked on Saturday evening. But it is warning that water levels will fall slowly and rivers “are expected to remain elevated for a number of days due to forecast rainfall”.

Flood warnings were in place over the weekend for north Worcester, Bevere, Pitchcroft, south Worcester, Kemsey, Callow End, Hanley Castle, Saxons Load, Clifton and Severn Stoke and East Waterside and Hanley Road in Upton.

But new multi-million pound flood defence schemes at Bewdley, Kempsey and Upton again held firm, keeping hundreds of previously vulnerable homes dry, while Severn Trent set up pumps on Friday to get rid of water from Hylton Road, in Worcester.

Meanwhile local weather expert Frank Hill said the sheer volume of rain means it has already been a record-breaking start to the year.

Rain fell in Worcestershire on every day except one during January, with a total of 175mm recorded for the month, the most since records began 125 years ago.

Last year it took until the end of April for the same amount of rain to fall.

While there was a break from the downpours yeaterday as the county enjoyed blue skies and even a bit of sun, Mr Hill, who is based in Malvern Link, warned that the end of the weather disruption is still not yet in sight.

“The weather never takes a day off and there’s more unsettled weather to come," he warned. "Monday and Tuesday don’t look too bad, though there will likely be a few showers and quite strong south-east winds.

"But rain likely on Tuesday evening and night with strong south to south-west winds gusting to over 40mph.

"Wednesday will be starting rainy and windy but improving later, Thursday and Friday should be mainly dry but colder with slight frost overnight and then more strong winds and rain are likely on Saturday.”

The Environment Agency said it is a similar outlook right across the country.

Despite yesterday's brighter weather, flood risk manager Kate Marks said many areas, particularly in the south, will be facing an "increased risk" of floods today.

She said: "With further severe weather conditions expected in the coming days, the Environment Agency is likely to issue further warnings so people should check their flood risk and get early warnings so they can take action to protect their property."

Yesterday, 78 flood warnings and 265 flood alerts were in place across England and Wales. The river Severn in Worcestershire is one of the areas of biggest concern for the Environment Agency over the coming week.

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