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Flooding aftermath clear-up under way
St George’s Square in Droitwich was hit badly by the flash floods which wreaked havoc across the region on Thursday morning.
THE clear-up is well under way after the huge storms which lashed the county.
Worcestershire County Council’s highways teams received nearly 350 calls on Thursday, with about 60 homes countywide getting flooded.
And it was the north of the county, from Droitwich to Rubery, that suffered the worst as almost half of June’s rain fell in an hour.
The flooding exposed a growing problem, said county flood response highways manager Jon Fraser, of too much rainwater ending up in the sewage system – which then bursts under the stress, ejecting foul water into the water already flooding people’s homes and businesses.
Repairs were under way in Redditch yesterday to fix a retaining wall near the ring road, which was pushed over by the flood water, and there were big problems at the Morrison’s roundabout in Bromsgrove, while in Droitwich, Tagwell Road and Queen Street’s shops were hit.
At the Secret Garden florists, on the Queen Street crossroads, staff had a mad few minutes’ scramble to shift all the stock upstairs, as the water rolled in.
The only casualty there thankfully appears to have been the carpets and a lingering bad smell left behind.
Florist Emma Everton said: “We were stood watching the front door and suddenly it was in the shop, it just seemed to come out of the ground.
“Then the cars were driving past and sending out waves, and that wasn’t helping.
“We only lost some of the plants we had outside.
“We watched a few plants float off down the road, but the council brought them back for us.”
Councillor Glenise Noyes, who represents the area, said the street had flooded three times in 10 years, including the June and July storms of 2007.
She queried whether the row of shop’s drains, maintained by water firm Severn Trent Water, could be improved.
Jon Fraser, a county council highways manager, said Queen Street’s problems were “complex” and any mitigation would need input from the county council, Severn Trent and shopkeepers.
Elsewhere, he said highways teams had “worked well” and the system of identifying “flood hotspots” from 2007, had kept some areas from flooding.
More than 200 council flood schemes, such as drain improvements, have been carried out, with an extra £2 million of council taxpayer money funding the efforts.
However, he said one problem “out of our control” was where rainwater run-off from extensions, conservatories, and businesses was being wrongly “plumbed into the nearest manhole”. The run-off is being plumbed incorrectly into sewers, so any massive downpour then overwhelms them, with grisly results for those unfortunate people left dealing with the clean-up.
Spetchley estate and Tybridge Street suffered with this issue on Thursday.