In deep trouble

Main Worcester bridge closed for safety, pedestrian free for all .

Main Worcester bridge closed for safety, pedestrian free for all .

First published in News
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LARGE parts of Worcester city centre could be closed for a week - as flooding described as "verging on the biblical" brought chaos to the city.

The highest river levels since 2007 saw people evacuated from their homes, roads closed, public transport diverted, and traffic slowly grind to a halt yesterday, with the promise of more rain to come.

The main Worcester Bridge was shut from 12.30pm yesterday, along with Deansway, leaving the city stuck at a stand still as desperate drivers tried diversions.

John Fraser, from the county council, last night urged motorists to stay away from Worcester due to the closures.

Many of these were due to remain closed during this morning's rush hour including the bridge, Deansway, Hylton Road, New Road, Castle Street, Dolday, North Parade, Croft Road and Tybridge Street.

One home owner, Jacky Smith, who lives in Lane's End, Kempsey, had to be assisted from her home at about 9.22pm on Friday evening along with her three dogs by the fire service.

The 57-year-old, who had been stranded in her home since Wednesday, was devastated after seeing the damage done to her home but said she stayed as long as she could before leaving.

"The water came into the house. Once it comes in the house it means it's incredibly deep outside so then you just have to get out. Otherwise you are talking about wading through waste deep water.

"I held on for as long as I could. It's so annoying because I spent £25,000 to have the house flood proofed. But he number of times it has flooded high enough to test it, its flooded.

"I don't know what to do. Nobody is going to buy it and it is going to keep flooding."

Phill Griffiths was the station commander on duty on Friday night and the firefighter who assisted Ms Smith out of her home.

"I drove out there and I could see her house was too deep to get to," he said. "In the back garden it was between one and two feet deep.

"She had already made the decision to leave. We literally assisted her over the flood gates and we locked the back door and isolated the electrics.

"She was not distressed. She was upset, as anybody would be when they are surrounded by water

"The community spirit was definitely there though everybody wanted to help."

Community spirit was also in full swing in Severn Stoke on Saturday as villagers build their own flood defences to protect the Rose and Crown pub using bales of hay and waterproof sheeting.

Unfortunately it was not enough and at about 5am Sunday morning the water entered the pub.

Peter Fryar and his wife Diane are now in a hotel.

Mr Fryar said: "The water came round the sides at about 2 to 3am and we have no defence against that. I sat up turning the pump on and off. My son brought a larger pump round but we realised it was too much at about 5am.

"We can't keep pumping 24 hours. We have had to abandon ship.

"It's currently about 3ft in the bar. It will be a total refurbish job.

"We had a wonderful response from our locals though, they have been a great support."

Homes were also said to have flooded in East Waterside, Upton, at Callow End and in Diglis.

Iain Smith, of Diglis Avenue, said water had entered his home at about 2pm on Saturday.

"There is probably about 5 to 6 inches of water in there. It is a pain, I was hoping we would get away with it. I want to be there when it washes out so I can sweep the silt out, that's the worst bit.

"But it is the price I pay for living in such a beautiful area."

The high winds also caused chaos in Worcestershire with a flat roof being partially blown from two properties in Lower Howsell Road, Malvern, on Saturday night about 3.16pm.

Firefighters made the area and the roof safe, removed the unsecure roofing and handed the situation back to the property owners.

The fire service were also called to Stourport Road in Bewdley in at around 4am Sunday morning to assist the Environment Agency pump overspill water back into river.

As your Worcester News went to press a number of road closures were still in place, including city centre roads, Bewdley Bridge, Switchback, Bewdley, Stourport, the A443 Lindridge, the Jubilee Bridge, Fladbury and Brook Lane, Cropthorne, Eckington Bridge, the temporary footbridge, Abbey Road, Evesham, Hylton Road, Worcester, Stourport Road, Bewdley, from the junction with Beale's Corner, Stourport Road to junction with Westbourne Street, Upton Bridge, New Street and Hanley Road in Upton, Shell Ford and Walcot Ford.

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