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Storm Dennis: Flood threat remains amid further disruption

By Andrew Turton | Environment | Published:

Dozens of flood warnings remain in place today as a clean-up operation gets under way after Storm Dennis battered the West Midlands.

Flood warnings were in place in Bewdley with the water level in the River Severn set to rise further. Image: @Joeynoble

Severe weather conditions over the weekend saw strong winds and heavy rain which brought flooding, damage to homes and travel disruption.

More than 70 flood warnings remained in place across Staffordshire and Worcestershire with concerns water levels in the River Severn were yet to peak.

Highways crews at Staffordshire County Council attended 290 call outs across the weekend, with the main issues being flooding and road closures.

Bosses say the majority of calls came from the Stafford and Cannock areas.

County councillor Helen Fisher said: "While the weather is a lot calmer, we are still dealing with the aftermath of the heavy rainfall we experienced over the weekend.

"Our highways crews have been working day and night in challenging conditions to deal with incidents caused by the storm, and the unprecedented amount of rainfall we have received.

“Some places are still flooded, and it will take some time before the water recedes and we can regain some sense of normality on the roads.

"My advice would be to check traffic conditions before you travel, as there may still be road closures in place, and drive carefully when you are out and about."

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Roads that are still closed today because of flooding include Burntwood Road, Norton Canes and A513 Croxall Road, Alrewas.

River levels were rising in Bewdley with flooding affecting Riverside North including the road to Lickhill Manor and Acacia Avenue.

There were warnings Lickhill Caravan Park and the Walkway may be affected, and property and gardens flooded at Severnside, in Stourport.

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The Environment Agency says the levels in the River Severn will peak tomorrow hitting 15.7ft (4.8m).

A spokesman said: "We expect river levels to remain high for the next few days.

"Further scattered showers are expected for the next 48 hours.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are checking defences."

A woman was missing in floodwater in Worcestershire in a major incident caused by Storm Dennis.

Police said a man had been rescued near Eastham Bridge over the River Teme near Tenbury Wells, around six miles from Rock in Wyre Forest yesterday but a woman was still missing.

A clean-up was under way in Norton Canes after 15 homes flooded yesterday.

WATCH: Flooding chaos revealed

Storm Dennis: Overflowing stream floods 15 homes in Norton Canes

Burntwood Road in Norton Canes was closed by the flooding and water rushed into 15 houses in nearby Stag Crescent.

Mark and Julie Rushton whose home suffered flood damage in Norton Canes

Chris and Adele Butler, from Stag Crescent, had just redecorated their dining room and spent more than £2,000 on an oak table and cabinet.

Adele said: "We're gutted, this has never happened before.

"We've just been cleaning up all the mess."

Chris and Adele Butler's home and garden were flooded

Storm Dennis disruption

Roads and public transport have been hit with some routes remaining impassable due to the weekend's downpours.

There were no trains between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley until mid-morning due to flooding at Bloxwich.

Replacement buses were being organised, said Network Rail, as all lines were blocked.

There were also reported issues at Hamstead Railway Station last night with flooding along with the street near the junction of Hamstead Road and Old Walsall Road

There was flooding in Alexandra Road in Tipton last night and Wigmore Lane in West Bromwich remains closed today.

Sandwell Council deputy leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: “I would like to thank all council teams that responded quickly to flooding reports in Sandwell over the weekend, putting in place road closures and other measures where needed to help keep road users and residents safe.”

The A454 between Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton was flooded at Swancote with bus services being diverted,

A footpath closed in Stafford town centre today. Image: Ian Knight

Silkmore Lane, in Stafford, was also closed leaving resulting bus services forced to turn round at the island adjacent to Belfort Way/Lancaster Road.

Bosses also closed Doxey Road car park and Riverside Undercroft due to most of the area being underwater.

In Cannock, a number of private gardens and businesses on an industrial estate in Rugeley were flooded, as well as 15 homes in Norton Canes.

A Cannock Chase Council spokesman said: "Cannock Chase Council received a number of out of hours calls from residents and responded to a number of incidents involving council housing tenants.

The Sainsbury's car park in Stafford under water. Image: Ian Knight

"There were also a number of private gardens and businesses on an industrial estate in Rugeley affected by flooding we have become aware about on Monday morning."

There were no trains between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley until mid-morning yesterday due to flooding at Bloxwich. Replacement buses were being organised, said Network Rail, as all lines were blocked.

A tree falling on the overhead lines near Bloxwich during yesterday afternoon also saw services between Birmingham New Street and Rugeley Trent Valley delayed or cancelled.

Trescott Ford was also overflowing at Smestow Brook.

A car can just be seen in the water at Trescott Ford

The National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas, in Staffordshire, is closed today due to the flooding.

It comes as the A38 southbound remains closed between Fradley Park at Hilliards Cross and Streethay (A5127) near Lichfield due to fllooding

The A38 was blocked yesterday by flood water and crews remain at the scene today clearing the route.

Drayton Manor Theme Park, in Staffordshire, has also closed its gates today - putting a damper on the first few days of half term.

Staff have since confirmed the park will remain closed until Wednesday due to damage.

It shared images online showing flood water lapping amid the rides such as the carousel.

William Bryan, Managing Director at Drayton Manor Park, said: “We made the decision to close the park yesterday following adverse weather conditions which caused significant flooding on-site.

“Thankfully the rain has now stopped, but flooding from the main lake means a number of areas are still submerged under water. The Drayton Manor team is working tirelessly to get the site back to normal as quickly as possible, and we are hoping to re-open to the public towards the end of the week.

“As always, the safety of our guests and staff is our utmost priority, and we are doing everything we can to ensure the site is safe and secure for visitors to enjoy.

“We have contacted all guests with existing reservations and have refunded tickets, or arranged alternative dates to visit. We will be providing regular updates throughout the week via our website and social media channels, and would advise guests to check ahead of travelling to avoid disappointment.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope we will be able to welcome visitors again soon.”

Victoria Park in Stafford has been closed off, after the river bank burst and flooded the grassland.

Victoria Park in Stafford has been closed off, after the river bank burst and flooded the grassland.

Stafford Borough Council said: "Unfortunately due to the flooding and the high level of the river the play area will remain closed today. We apologize for any inconvenience but the safety of our visitors is paramount."

Weston Park, on the Staffordshire and Shropshire border, was unable to open its Temple Wood and the Woodland Adventure Playground due to storm damage and waterlogged ground.

Officials said they would re-assess the situation at the end of the day today.

The clean-up was also under way at Walsall Arboretum after large parts of the parkland were under water yesterday.

WATCH: Latest Met Office forecast

Monday morning forecast 17/02/20

As of 8am, the EA had five severe flood warnings in place for England, meaning there is a "danger to life".

These cover parts of the River Teme in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire, and the River Wye at Blackmarstone, Hereford.

And there were parts of Ludlow under water today.

There has been flooding in Ludlow, Shropshire, close to Ludlow RFC and Ludlow Castle Bowling and Tennis Club

More than 600 flood warnings or alerts are also in place across England - covering an area from Scotland's River Tweed to the rivers of west Cornwall.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for strong winds covering Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of the Welsh coast and south-west England until 11am on Monday.

A lorry and a coach submerged in floodwater from the River Teme in Worcestershire

Newly-appointed Environment Secretary George Eustice said the country had not been caught off guard by the floods caused by Storm Dennis.

He blamed the "nature of climate change" for the scale of the damage, and said: "There is always more that can be done."

More than 900 EA staff are on active incident duty and teams have put up more than two miles (3.5km) of temporary flood barriers across the country.

A Dudley Council spokeswoman said: “Our crews were out working throughout the night on Saturday to take preventative action such as clearing gullies at known flood hot spots.

“We have been fortunate that there has been very little damage reported and our roads, parks and other sites have all remained open as usual. We are continuing to monitor and react to the latest weather updates as they come through.”

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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