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Flooding clean-up continues after deluge leaves roads closed

By David Cosgrove | News | Published:

The West Midlands was still drying out today amid freak floods that caused havoc over the bank holiday weekend.

The scene in Birmingham after flood water filled the streets around Selly Park. Picture: @snappersk

The region is continuing to count the cost of the flash flooding – which saw a month’s rain fall in just one hour in some areas.

Tragedy struck when a man died after his van was submerged in water in Walsall following flash flooding.

Water rescue teams in Lichfield Road, Rushall, Walsall. Picture: @wmaspeterbowles/West Midlands Ambulance Service

Dozens of roads remained badly affected yesterday, with the M54, A41 and A5 blocked and closed at various times.

Four roads were also shut in Birmingham and Great Barr due to flood water and clean-up operations, while RAF Cosford was closed because of submerged nearby roads.

Flood alerts remained in place in parts of the Black Country and Staffordshire following the torrential downpours.

And insurance companies will be facing hundreds of claims from people caught up in the deluge.

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Flooding on the A449 Stafford Road near Coven. Photo: Scott Carlyle-Cockayne

That will include claims from households who would normally expect to be safe from flooding, according to a former regional transport boss.

Councillor Phil Bateman said: “The weather was absolutely horrendous and I feel for all the homeowners who are facing up to problems.

“Some people would have thought they were in a safe place, well away from known flooding areas – but when that deluge came down on baked ground it created an extraordinary body of water. It was an extraordinary amount of rain.”

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This was the scene in Rufford Way, Rushall, during the flooding. Photo: Steven Shaw

The Environment Agency yesterday issued flood warnings for the River Penk in Penkridge and at Acton Bridge, as well as where the River Sow and Penk meet near Stafford. A warning was also in place for the River Worfe near Pattingham.

West Midlands Police said some roads in Birmingham were still affected by flooding and advised drivers not to ignore road closure signs. One major route was left impassable because of water up to 5ft deep.

A site in Edgbaston saw 58mm of rain fall in just one hour on Sunday afternoon – more than the monthly average for the West Midlands in May, which is 55mm.

Bentley in Walsall was also submerged. Photo: Luke Rudd

A resident from Selly Park told the Express & Star the scale of the rising tides in the city had been ‘frightening’.

She said: “The water was waist-deep near the house. It had filled the garden and was lapping up the doorstep before it started to recede.

“If it had rained any more it would have been inside the house. Everybody is just devastated. It was really frightening to see it rise so rapidly and to see it flowing into the road and getting higher and higher.”

Forecast

Forecasters have warned of the risk of more flooding, travel disruption and power cuts for holidaymakers with thunderstorms set to rumble on throughout half term.

However, the Black Country and Staffordshire should avoid the worst of the weather.

WATCH: Lightning flashes as storm hits Bloxwich

Lightning Walsall 27th May 2018

The Met Office has issued a yellow alert warning of thundery rain or showers which could bring local flooding to parts of southern England and Wales through Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.

Forecasters say there is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded or struck by lightning, causing damage to some buildings, and where flooding does occur there is a slight chance of delays or cancellations to train and bus services.

Spray and flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures, while flooding or lightning strikes could cause power cuts in some areas.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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