MISERY and mayhem has returned to Bewdley which is now enduring traffic chaos and flooded homes for the second successive week.

As the rains continued to fall relentlessly throughout the Midlands, Kidderminster also came under flood alert on Tuesday as the River Stour rose to its highest levels for 20 years.

The Environment Agency feared the area around Mill Street could be the first to be affected. But some businesses nearer the town centre including Bridge Street brought in sandbags before the "Flood Warning" was downgraded to a "Flood Watch" by yesterday.

But there was no relief for Bewdley people last night where, according to EA predictions, the town centre was due again for "significant flooding" though not as bad as previously. It was hoped the peak would be a metre below last week's worst of 5.56 metres above normal.

Eighty homes were flooded at the start of the crisis a week ago and Bewdley saw a Prime Minister in the town for the first time since Stanley Baldwin more than 60 years ago.

In some cases the water was nearly up to living room ceilings and around 110 people were evacuated with the help of emergency services.

Although most dispersed to the homes of friends and family, at least 20 took refuge at the Wyre Forest District Council emergency facility at Lickhill Community Centre.

The flooding, which closed the town centre bridge and cut Bewdley effectively in half, led again to major traffic congestion on the by-pass.