Flood-hit town at risk once again

Flood-hit town at risk once again

The Lowther pub in York has managed to stay open despite flooding

A man and a dog wade through a flooded green at Knavesmire in York following another day of heavy rain

First published in National News © by

A town devastated by flooding five years ago is on alert as rain and wind continued to wreak havoc across the country.

Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, was one of the worst hit places during flooding in July 2007, with more than 1,800 households turned upside down when torrential rainfall forced them to move out of their homes and into temporary accommodation.

The town, the scene of the striking image of Tewkesbury Abbey surrounded by flood water in 2007, was on alert once again, with the Environment Agency setting up an incident room as heavy rain continued to cause the River Severn to rise.

Ian Lock, landlord of the Boat Inn at Ashleworth, which is south of Tewkesbury next to the River Severn, told the BBC the water was "worryingly high".

"If we'd had a high tide on Saturday night we would have had trouble - thankfully we didn't - just another three or four feet and we would have had problems. We still could flood, the worry is if other towns further up the river put their flood defences up the water will come down here and we'll suffer."

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said three incident rooms had been set up in the Midlands, including at Tewkesbury, while a further incident room was set up for the Wessex area as southern parts of the UK take the brunt of the bad weather.

The Environment Agency warned of localised flooding across parts of southern and eastern England, Midlands and Wales, with a total of 27 flood warnings and 173 flood alerts in place on its website.

South West England and Wales were battered by gusts of up to 71mph, while other parts of the country continued to suffer from strong winds and further downpours. Around 10,000 homes were left without power in South Wales and the West Midlands, as well as 2,000 in the South West, Western Power said.

The outages were caused by weather-related problems, such as trees bringing lines down, trees leaning on lines, or debris hitting power lines, a spokeswoman said, and the company is working anywhere from four to 10 times its normal fault investigation rate.

Cardiff Council received reports of 50 to 60 trees brought down by the weather across the city and set up an emergency response centre to co-ordinate their operation, a spokeswoman said. The M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions to high-sided vehicles on Sunday morning because of strong winds.

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