THIS week marks a decade since devastating floods brought Worcestershire to its knees. 2007 was Britain’s wettest May to July since records began in 1776, causing destruction across the county. Over the next two weeks, we are looking back at the floods and how things have changed since. Here in our fourth report, we focus on how the floods started and whether we are likely to see it happen again.

TEN years ago, Worcestershire saw some of the worst flooding in recent history.

The amount of rainfall and the length of time it fell for were unprecedented, with a number of long-held records broken throughout June and July and much of the rain the heaviest since records began.

The unusual weather was linked to the location and strength of the jet stream, ribbons of very strong wind which move weather systems around, and unusually high Atlantic sea temperatures.

The rainfall throughout May and early June was partly absorbed by the dry ground but by mid-June it was saturated and any future downpours were always likely to cause widespread flooding.

Many reservoirs that could normally absorb run-off water were already filled and as the rain continued to fall, drains and gullies could not cope and water invariably drained into rivers and floodplains.

England and Wales had not seen a wetter May to July since records began in 1766 and Worcestershire was badly affected.

Rainfall was three times higher than the average throughout June and July, with the most rain falling on June 24 and 25.

Pershore saw six inches of rain fall over July 19 and 20, compared with 10 inches over the whole month. It was also the wettest place in the country in July, recording 252mm of rain, 588 per cent above the average.

The total rainfall in Upton, where the July average was just 44mm, was 170mm.

At the Diglis gauge in Worcester, river levels reached a peak of 5.30m on July 21. This was higher than the maximum level of 5.08m during the 2000 flood. It was also he highest level since the benchmark floods of 1947.

Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, says it is difficult to say whether Worcestershire will see such flooding again.

“It’s not something I could say will never happen again," he said. “The type of weather and the events that led to the flooding in 2007 are becoming far more frequent across the country.

“We can only encourage people to be as prepared as they can be.

“We are certainly more prepared than in 2007 but weather on that scale, even with flood defences in place, would still certainly cause a lot of damage and flooding.”