Midlands battered by heavy rain and strong winds

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Homes flooded, cars became stranded and trains were cancelled as torrential rain lashed the Midlands.

More than two inches fell during sustained downpours and strong winds which battered the region for up to 12 hours from lunchtime on Saturday. The deluge caused chaos on the roads and railways as streams burst their banks and fields were overwhelmed by water yesterday

The Environment Agency issued 119 flood warnings and 70 less serious alerts across the Midlands overnight, with more rain expected in parts. Up to 2.4 inches came down on Saturday.

Residents in Kings Bromley in Staffordshire were today counting the cost after their homes suffered extensive flood damage as water levels on surrounding land rose rapidly and breached their properties.

The A513 through the village was among scores of roads in the county which flooded and at least five cars had to be rescued after grinding to a halt in up to three feet of water. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was inundated with calls from drivers who came to grief trying to make their way along flooded routes while crews rescued 36 sheep from areas in Stone and Newcastle-under-Lyme yesterday.

There were delays along the B5013 Colton Road in Rugeley while the A51 London Road in Weston, Cope Street in Stafford and southbound carriageway of the A34 in Stone were also affected.

On the A460 at Featherstone, cars were forced into the middle of the road because of rising water levels in the carriageway near to the Saredon Filling Station.

A replacement bus service was running between Walsall and Rugeley for three hours from 11am yesterday before problems on the line were resolved and trains resumed at 2pm. And passengers travelling between Stone and Stoke-on-Trent faced severe disruption while buses were introduced between Crewe and Stafford.

There were also problems on roads in the Black Country and Worcestershire, where there was anger as flood defences failed in the village of Kempsey.


Kings Bromley saw some of the most dramatic scenes as saturated fields sent water gushing onto the main road through the village and into homes.

Refrigeration engineer Dale Port was at home with his wife and children when a neighbour alerted him to rising water in surrounding fields at 8am.

Despite barricading his doors with sandbags, around an inch of water seeped in through the brickwork by midday causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. The entire garden of the property, at the junction of the A513 with Shaw Lane, was submerged.

"It's depressing to see your property ruined," the 63-year-old said. "It's all a bit of a shock.


"We've been here six and a half years but we've never known anything like this. There's a little stream nearby which is a tributary to the River Trent and that could be behind it.

"We've managed to save some carpets by pulling them up, but not all of them. We'd just had them cleaned."

Residents helped push cars out of a large lake which developed along the A513 yesterday afternoon while the AA was also called to help stricken motorists.

Peter and Yvonne Foster, of Church Lane, Hill Ridware, got stuck in their silver Ford Mondeo with their pet Labradoodles Peaches and Bonny. Mr Foster, a project manager at Alstom in Stafford, said: "I've driven through water before but this is the first time I've had a problem.

"This sort of thing brings the best and the worst out in people. There were people in their 4x4s coming the other way who were driving like idiots, sending huge bow waves up.

"These two lads came and pushed us out and luckily the car started. They said they had already helped another four cars which got stuck and we are really grateful to them."

The Environment Agency said teams were working "round the clock" to check flood defences, clear river blockages and monitor water levels as they try to get to grips with the situation.

Barriers were erected at Severnside North in Bewdley on Saturday and more were installed at Beales Corner yesterday(Sun).

Residents in Griffin Crescent, Pelsall, woke to flood waters encroaching their new development.

The A456 Kidderminster Road in Hagley was partially blocked yesterday(Sun) while the A448 in Chaddesley Corbett and the A449 in Ombersley were closed.

The A4123 Wolverhampton Road in Oldbury was partially blocked and there were hazardous driving conditions around the Joseph Street junction.

Overnight on Saturday in the Midlands 20 people were rescued from cars.

Faulty pumps saw the entire Worcestershire village of Kempsey under water by yesterday(Sun) morning.

At around 5am the flood defences were put under impossible strain when the vital pumps stopped working, leading rescue services to launch a major operation as homes were flooded.

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