'Flood tourists' warned to stay away from River Severn

"Flood tourists" have been warned they will be fined for travelling to view the overflowing River Severn while England is under lockdown.

Flooding from the River Severn in Bewdley
Flooding from the River Severn in Bewdley

Police and council officials warned people against travelling to flooded areas such as Bewdley, Stourport, Bridgnorth and Ironbridge - saying to do so was "disrespectful" and breached Covid regulations.

Superintendent Mark Colquhoun, commander of North Worcestershire police teams, warned flood tourists would be fined if caught.

He tweeted: "Some reports of 'flood tourism' with people coming to gawp at those areas currently impacted.

"Not only is it completely disrespectful to those affected communities, it contravenes the Covid health regulations.

"We will fine anyone we find. Stay away."

Jeremy Timmins bails water out of his flooded home in Bewdley

Meanwhile the Environment Agency's Dave Throup said residents at Beales Corner in Bewdley, where temporary flood barriers were breached on Friday night, reported seeing "lots of people" attending the area.

He said: "Just had a message from a flooded resident at Beales Corner Bewdley saying they’re getting lots of people coming to look and also driving through water outside.

"Please keep away from the area, these folk have more than enough to cope with."

Snow fell next to the flood barriers in Bewdley on Sunday

Similar behaviour was reported in Bridgnorth, where the river peaked early on Saturday, and nearby Ironbridge, which have both been badly flooded.

Pc Pete Rigby urged people to stay away from flooded areas in Shropshire, saying: "The floods are not a tourist attraction. If you travel from outside the area, you will be hit with a fine for breaching Covid restrictions."

Warning were also issued by Worcestershire County Council and Wyre Forest District Council.

Flooding in Bridgnorth

Worcestershire County Council said visitors can "hamper" the work of agencies dealing with the floods and reminded people that current lockdown laws ban anything other than essential travel.

The county council tweeted: "Please do NOT go out to look at the floods in Worcester. It is a breach of the lockdown rules and the presence of "flood tourists" can hamper the work of agencies assisting the victims of flooding."

Wyre Forest tweeted: "Flood tourism is not a legal reason to leave your home, so please don't do it.

"Stay away from the flooded area unless you live there or have a legitimate reason to be present, please."

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