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WATCH: Bridgnorth left under water by River Severn flooding

By Rory Smith | Environment | Published: | Last Updated:

Bridgnorth homes and businesses were today dealing with the aftermath of Storm Dennis as dozens of people were flooded out of their homes.

The overflowing River Severn in Bridgnorth on Tuesday

Residents reported sofas, empty canoes and even a pushchair floating between High Town and Low Town as the River Severn peaked at 5.04 metres at 10.45pm last night.

And the Environment Agency has warned of possible further flooding with expected rain at risk of holding the town under siege once again.

Streets and properties around Low Town were shut and evacuated as about 45 homes were thought to have been washed out yesterday.

WATCH: Video shows Bridgnorth under water

Flooding in Bridgnorth
Flooding in Bridgnorth

Riverside was closed by highways officers who urged motorists to move vehicles parked in the area as soon as possible before they were engulfed when the entire road flooded.

Meanwhile, the A442 between Sutton Maddock and Bridgnorth remains shut, causing significant disruption to commuters.

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Karen Wood, owner of BamBoo Wine Bar on Bridge Street, said she has never seen the river as high in the six years she's lived in the town.

"We are on high alert," she said. "The water is coming up into our beer garden at the back.

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"The back garden is under about 4ft of water. I have never seen it this high and we have been here for six years this year."

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Tuesday
Flooding in Bridgnorth on Tuesday

Meanwhile the question of flood defences to protect the town was raised again.

Ian George, fixture secretary at Bridgnorth Rugby Club, said many people are concerned as to why the town does not have appropriate infrastructure.

"River levels are higher than it has been since 2000," he said.

"We have not got any flood defences. You know, we are glad everyone is safe in Shrewsbury, Ironbridge and Bewdley, but what about people in Bridgnorth?"

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Tuesday

The A442 near Bridgnorth Rugby Club was particularly waterlogged, with police advising people to instead use the B4176 and A458.

Mr George added: "It would be nice to know why they consider that Bridgnorth does not need flood defences when this is the third time we have flooded in the last six months.

"At the end of the day belongings can be replaced, we are concerned with peoples safety."

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Tuesday

A rest centre was also opened by the town council at Castle Hall.

Shelter, tea and coffee was provided to residents in need of support.

Fran Spicer, who lives on Underhill Street on the banks of the River Severn with her husband Julian, said they were hoping the water does not get high enough to reach them.

"The property was built in 1760 and is set slightly back from the river, so at the moment we are keeping our fingers crossed," she said.

"We have lived here for 17 years and it is the worst we have known it.

"I think we should have flood defences. Anything to protect the residents will help.

"There are residents who are regularly affected by flooding who could benefit from improved flood defences."

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Tuesday

Townsfolk and traders rallied together to offer support to the emergency services and those who had been forced out of their homes, including Keith Alderson Butchers which delivered fresh food to the rest centre on West Castle Street.

The Falcon Hotel also offered free refreshments to any emergency service workers battling the rising water.

Bridgnorth Town Council said it was communicating with the town's incident commander as well as the major incident team in Shrewsbury throughout the week to ensure proactive and reactive measures were being taken.

As the river climbed dangerously close to the Low Town bridge, rumours that it may close proved unfounded, while various other road closures and restrictions were enforced, including temporary lights and single-file traffic on Underhill Street.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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