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River Severn overwhelms flood barriers leaving Bewdley and Stourport under water

By Dayna Farrington | Bewdley | Environment | Published:

People have been rescued as homes were evacuated after the River Severn flowed over flood barriers.

A woman is helped by rescue teams reaching flood victims. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

Fears the flooding could peak later tonight emerged amid fresh warnings from the Environment Agency

Water flowed over flood barriers in Bewdley flooding homes at Beales Corner today.

The River Severn is shifting approximately 510 tons of water through Bewdley every second, say the Environment Agency

Officials say that is one of the highest readings they have recorded.

And the Playland Fun Park and Riverside Amusement Park and Arcade were under water at Stourport.

The Riverside Amusement Park and Arcade is under water in Stourport today. Image: @SnapperSK

Homes and roads were flooded as the water levels creep up to 18.3ft (5.6m) by tonight which is higher than last week.

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The river level could hit its peak by around 10pm.

Latest on the Bewdley flooding

Cars were under water and homes and gardens suffered flooding overnight close to Bewdley Bridge.

One woman in her 70s has been rescued from a property at Beales Corner, according to reports.

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Rescue teams were wadding through the flood waters to reach people trapped by the rising levels. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

Red diesel from a generator has leaked into the water causing a strong smell in the area.

Fridges and sofas can be seen floating in the water, while residents have piled sand bags in front of their doors in an attempt to stop the water coming in their properties.

A man being helped from the flooding in Bewdley. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

And the Environment Agency warned the river could rise by another 15 to 20cm during the course of the day.

The Environment Agency warned this morning: "River levels continue to rise at the Bewdley river gauge as a result of recent rainfall. Consequently, flooding continues."

A woman tries to escape the flooding by climbing on sandbags in Bewdley. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

Sara Hemmings, who lives with her husband and four children, and runs her business Glow Bambino from their home, said the water had flooded into their cellar.

She said: “Our cellar is waist high. My husband is a geologist and his whole rock collection is down there. Our cellar is full of water and it’s not clean water either.

“We have no gas, no central heating. We can’t use the toilet or shower. Can’t use the washing machine, we have four children.

Giles and Sara Hemmings with young son Bracken. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

“We were up until 1am yesterday making tea and pancakes for fire crews and those from the environment agency. We have been trying to help our neighbours.

“It was horrible to watch it come over the barriers last night.

“I don’t know if it will reach our house.

“We have lived here just over two years.

Furniture and debris in the flood water. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

“I run a business from the house and I have had to cancel everything today. It’s sensory for babies.

“We have been getting no heating but luckily we have a log burner. Thank god we do have that or we would be froze.

“It affects you in all kind of different ways.”

The scene of flooding in Bewdley. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

Geoff Baker, 88, is the landlord of a property on Beale’s Corner. The home has been in his family for more than 100 years.

He said: “They won’t let me in the house. They told me yesterday that they thought it would be ok, they told me not to worry. Then this morning we come to this.

“I am a little bit cross as if we had more time we could have made the damage a lot less.

“With no insurance it is going to cost a lot.

Rescue teams were wadding through the flood waters to reach people trapped by the rising levels. Image: Tim Thursfield/Express & Star

“The house has been in my family for well over 100 years. I’m renting it out. The tenant before those living there now was in that house all her life, before she died two years ago. She was born there. She saw all the floods come up and down.”

Officials said flooding hit Riverside North including the road to Lickhill Manor and Acacia Avenue, the access road to Lickhill Caravan Park and the Walkway.

John Cleary, who runs the Black Boy Inn, has been opening his pub for emergency services.

He said: “We got rid of the flood water last week and it’s back worse than ever.

"My cellar is flooded, it’s up to my knees in there.

"It’s not peaked yet but it is expected to come up further throughout the day.

"It’s killing our trade - we have got no trade. I have been in this pub for two years, I have not seen anything like this before.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service tweeted drone images showing the scale of flooding in Bewdley.

A spokesman said: "Our staff remain in the area to support and assist the local community as required."

MORE images from Bewdley

Stourport flooding hits caravan park and riverside attractions

Stourport suffered flooding today with a caravan park hit, a football club under water and riverside attractions overwhelmed.

Water flowed into Walshes Farm Caravan Park, in Dunley Road, leaving some residents concerned over the impact of flooding.

Electric and water supplies to some caravans were cut off by the advancing water levels.

Residents have been given the option to leave their homes but many are waiting to see how the river levels rise.

The River Severn burst its banks in Stourport. Image: @SnapperSK

Derek Hall, 66, who has lived on the park for 18 months, said: “They are giving us the option to leave - we have no water and no electric.

“It has not got into our property. I asked the site owners and they said it’s not expected to peak here till 10pm tonight.

“I will be staying at my home. It is a bit worrying, but you have just got to get on with it. We know we live by the river it is just what happens.

“But this is the worst I have seen it since I have been here.”

Fellow resident Steve Morris, 65, said: “I have been here four years and this is the worst flooding I have seen here.

"If it gets above a certain level it’s one phone call and I’ll be gone.

“The site managers have been around asking us if we want to evacuate.”

The Treasure Island fairground is surrounded by flooding in Stourport after the River Severn burst its banks. Image: @SnapperSK

Karen Graham has lived on the park for four years. She lives towards the back of the site nearest the river. She said: “This is the worst we have seen it. We stayed in last night and got our dogs out on a canoe this morning.

“We knew it was coming yesterday. And it started to come up higher last night.

“The caravans are high enough to not let the water in. The electric and gas is off and everyone on the site has been making sure we are ok.

“I think a lot of people have left their properties.

“The river is about two football pitches away from our caravan. The most flooding we have had before is a little covering on the roadway.

“We have just come back from Australia with the bush fires, they need some of this over there!”

**Moving Footage with relevant desk** Pic by SnapperSK - (Pictured: Stourport on Severn is under major flooding after the River Severn burst its banks. the River is due to peak on Wednesday evening.Pic taken 26/02/2020) - A life-size model of a dinosaur has been engulfed by flooding in the Worcestershire town of Stourport on Severn after the River Severn burst its banks. The head of the fibreglass beast is just poking out of the river, like it is gasping for its last breath as the River Severn devastates communities as the river level is still yet to peak. The Dinosaur is located in a crazy golf course in the Riverside Meadows park. The golf hut has water just a foot from its roof. Meanwhile on the opposite side of the road bridge, a fairground has been submerged in the flooding. The Treasure Island site is now an island amongst the flooding which is over 5 feet high. Stourport on Severn is just a few miles down river of Bewdley where flood barriers were overrun early this morning, causing major flooding to the historic town. ENDS

The site's credit controller, Helen Millward, said electric meters and water supplies were cut off overnight into today due to the levels.

“We have been waiting for the river to peak and when it starts receding we can start putting them back on and making sure it is safe for residents," she said.

“There are 250 vans here and probably 130 living here for the 11 months we are open.

"We have had to remove gas bottles from some of them as they were floating away.

“About 60 to 70 have left now. They have gone to local bed and breakfasts and hotels.

The Riverside Amusement Park has been flooded in Stourport. Image: @SnapperSK

“We are looking toward by the end of the weekend, early next week to get back up and running.

“We are lucky we haven’t lost anything.”

Homes and gardens were flooded at Severnside by the rising river levels.

The Riverside Amusement Park and Arcade were flooded as the River Severn breached its banks in the town.

Only a dinosaur's head was visible from one of the playground models under water.

A dinosaur figure on the playground is partly submerged. Image: @SnapperSK

The head of the fibreglass beast is just poking out of the river, like it is gasping for its last breath as the River Severn hits communities with the river level still yet to peak.

The Dinosaur is located in a crazy golf course in the Riverside Meadows park.

The golf hut has water just a foot from its roof.

The Playland Fun Park under water in Stourport. Image: @SnapperSK

Meanwhile on the opposite side of the road bridge, a fairground has been submerged in the flooding.

The Treasure Island site is now an island amongst the flooding which is more than 5ft high.

Stourport Swifts tweeted drone footage showing its entire playing surface covered in flood water.

Staff tweeted: "[It] shows in earnest the devastating effect of this weather as it peaked last night."

Two severe flood warnings remain in place in Shropshire with the River Severn at risk of overtopping defences in Ironbridge.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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