WORCESTER is braced for a washout Christmas with floodwaters set to peak even higher than the levels reached last month.
Following further rain overnight on Saturday, the Environment Agency is expecting levels to reach between 5.2 and 5.3 metres in the city this afternoon compared with the peak of 5.1 metres in the severe floods in November.
A number of roads were closed across the county, including Worcester’s Hylton Road, which was again shut due to surface water.
The road was expected to be closed overnight, affecting Christmas Eve’s rush-hour traffic.
Staff from Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency enlisted the use of a high-velocity pump and further additional pumps in an attempt to remove the water.
The level at Diglis was also higher than last month, with a peak of between 4.7 and 4.8 metres expected this afternoon putting Hood Street, Quay Street, Pitchcroft Lane, Waterworks Road, Newport Street, Croft Road and Diglis Dock Road at risk of flooding. The Environment Agency reported one property in Worcestershire had been flooded, while specialist contractors will be on hand in Kempsey, near Worcester, throughout the festive season to ensure the village’s £1.7 million flood defences are fully operational to protect 40 properties.
An independent report conducted by Arup revealed 15 houses were flooded last month when the automatic sensors that operate the pumps malfunctioned after it became submerged in flood water. With the Met Office predicting a further 10-20mm of rainfall today, there could be further localised flooding and disruption to travel over Christmas.
Catherine Ellis, of the Environment Agency, said: “With the rain falling on already saturated ground and with high river levels, we expect rivers to remain high and some further flood alerts and flood warnings may be issued over the weekend and into the Christmas period.”
However, it was a different picture on the river Avon at Evesham, with a peak level of between 3.1 and 3.3 metres expected yesterday afternoon – about 70cm lower than last month, but still posing a threat to low-lying properties and the B4035 at Waterside.
Water levels are also expected to peak between 5.2 and 5.3 metres in Upton-upon-Severn this afternoon.
All of the town’s floodgates and barriers had been closed, with pumps being used to remove surface water from behind the gates. Although the town’s Hanley Road had been closed, Rectory Road was not expected to flood.