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Bewdley flooding: Water levels continuing to rise on River Severn as peak expected today

Rescue teams have been out checking on residents in Bewdley after flood barriers were breached as the Severn continues to rise.

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A fire and rescue team wades through the flood water at Bewdley, where river levels are expected to peak on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Water levels are expected to peak in the Worcestershire town on Wednesday, after the river reached the maximum heigh expected in Ironbridge late on Tuesday.

Hover temporary flood barriers installed at Beales Corner in Bewdley have already been overwhelmed and seen nearby streets become submerged.

Some people have already been evacuated but specialist teams from the fire service have been out checking on those who chose to stay, navigating the water in waders and rafts.

Much of the riverside areas in Stourport are also under water, with the Swifts football team assessing the damage to its pitch.

The barriers at Beales Corner could be overwhelmed later on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Environment Agency chiefs have reiterated their calls for residents to evacuate due to the risk posed with the peak of water levels expected at 1.45pm.

In its warning the agency said: "Severe flooding is expected to continue. There is a danger to life. The temporary barriers at Beales Corner have exceeded their capacity on Tuesday afternoon. We have withdrawn our operatives from behind the barriers.

"It is strongly recommended that residents evacuate from behind the defences due to the risk."

Levels are expected to hit around 5.43m this afternoon – nearly reaching the record levels of 5.56m last registered on November 2, 2000 – as experts warned the levels would remain high "for a prolonged period due to further rainfall this week".

Jo Bloom, leader of the Bewdley Flood Group which is coordinating efforts in response to the current flooding, said it was “unprecedented”.

The severe 'danger to life' flood warning remains in place. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

She added it was a flood of “biblical proportions” and said the levels were nowhere near the peak because there was a huge increase yet to come.

Another resident said they had their fingers crossed “nothing bad happens” and the situation doesn’t get worse as some flooding took place.