FLOOD victims in Worcestershire are being warned to look out for rogue traders trying to charge residents "exorbitant" repair fees.

Worcestershire Trading Standards department is urging residents to take pictures or video footage of the damage and find out what information their insurance company needs to deal with claims.

"Most traders are reputable, honest and helpful but there is a small minority of rogues who will try to take advantage of the recent flooding problems to make an exorbitant profit," said Steve Birch, Trading Standards spokesman.

"Be wary of unsolicited calls to your home offering to fix your problems. Before taking someone on, get a written quotation with a printed name, address and land-line phone number.

"Never give money in advance and only use CORGI-registered installers to repair gas appliances."

Mr Birch warned homeowners to ask their insurance company before hiring equipment in case it wanted to arrange the job itself or appoint an approved firm.

Flooding risks should also be assessed before moving back into properties, he said.

"If your insurance company doesn't specify a particular business, use one which you or others have been happy with before," he said.

"Consider looking for a business which is a member of the Hire Association of Europe and get two or three quotes."

The Trading Standards Advice Line can be contacted on 01905 765373.

Brighter times ahead, says Paul

EVENING News weather expert Paul Damari is predicting a brighter future for fed-up flood-hit families.

He says people in Worcestershire can look forward to sunshine later today despite the dismal start to the weekend that saw heavy showers.

"The rain we had this morning gave another 5mm, which is still quite a bit," said Mr Damari.

"But in the afternoon, things will be brightening up with some sunshine - any rain that we have will be more showery.

"Tomorrow, we should have some sunshine and on Monday, there should be fewer showers and longer drier spells which will allow things to settle down for a bit.

"From Tuesday we'll have high pressure. There may be mist, fog and frost in the morning.

Worcester Royal Infirmary's Castle Street branch has re-opened its doors to trauma cases after evacuating patients during the floods.

Patients who were transferred to Ronkswood and Newton returned to wards at Castle Street yesterday.