It's Worcester-by-the-sea!

DRAMATIC: Worcester News reader Jason Cook took this picture of the water lapping South Quay, Worcester

RIVER DEEP: The scene at Holt Fleet

RISING WATERS: The river Severn breaks its banks at Holt Fleet

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

RIVER levels are starting to fall in Worcestershire – with anxious homeowners and businesses hoping the worst of their troubles are over.

The water gauge at the river Severn in Diglis fell to 4.38metres yesterday, down from a high of 4.73m on Christmas Day.

But flood defences are remaining in place amid concerns more rain will fall this weekend, which could see the river rise again.

The Environment Agency says water levels are “receding only very slowly” and it is unclear what could happen this weekend.

A spokesman said: “The levels have dropped a little, but we are expecting more rain, some of it heavy, in areas like Wales, which could filter down to the Severn.

“So for the time being we are keeping our eye on it and flood warnings will remain in place, as will the defences, while we wait and see how it impacts.” Levels at Bewdley were down to 3.40m, from a high of 4.22m, while the Worcester gauge measured 4.76m yesterday, down from 5.2m. Along the river Severn in Hanley Road, Upton-upon- Severn, levels have also dropped slightly, from 5.20m to 5.05m.

The county’s flooding has left a pile of unsightly mud piled up next to Powick bridge, which will be cleared by the Environment Agency.

Several road closures remained in place yesterday including the B4088 Eckington Bridge, Owlhill Lane in Ombersley, Woodbury Lane, Norton, near Worcester, and New Street, Upton.

In Worcester, Kleve Walk remains shut. Hylton Road is closed to motorists where five pumps are in use. Grace Marren, of Severn Trent, said: “Hylton Road is no longer flooding but with more rain due, the last thing we want to do is open it and then have to close it again. So it will remain closed until further notice but the pumps are there 24/7 helping the situation.”

A number of roads have now reopened, including Jubilee Bridge, Fladbury, the B4035 Waterside in Evesham, and the A44 at Wood Norton, near Evesham.

Worcester City Council has warned people to be careful over the next few days because of the conditions.

A spokesman said: “We will start the clean-up operation as soon as we can, but in the meantime, would ask people to please take care, whether in a car or on foot, due to the conditions, and please do not drive through floodwater.”

The Met Office is forecasting rain today across Worcestershire, which will start in the early hours and continue until midday.

It will remain relatively mild with highs of 10C (50F), but temperatures will fall to 8C (46F) tomorrow with more rain at night, some of which could be thundery.

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