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Bridgnorth river level rises close to heights seen in record flood of 2000

The River Severn in Bridgnorth has risen close to the record level seen 23 years ago, as areas of the town find themselves underwater.

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Bridgnorth river levels are getting close to 2000's record

The market town has seen flooding in many low-lying areas in Low Town, including Riverside, Severnside and the town rugby club, where the pitch was completely submerged on Wednesday afternoon, as well as parts of Severn Park.

The river level in the town has risen beyond the top of its normal range since December 30 following heavy rainfall over the last week.

The Environment Agency, which issued a flood warning for the town on Saturday, said the level of the river on Wednesday was at 4.58 metres but it was not expected to peak until Thursday afternoon, when the agency is predicting the levels to reach 4.7 metres to 5 metres.

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Wednesday morning. Photo: Mark Ward

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "Further rainfall is forecast and we expect river levels to continue to rise as a result. We are closely monitoring the situation.

"Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded."

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Tuesday

Town councillor and Bridgnorth deputy mayor, Ian Wellings, part of the community Bridgnorth Flood Action Working Group, said the river level was getting close to the "big flood" of November 2000 when the River Severn rose to 5.26 metres.

Councillor Wellings, who lives in flood-hit Riverside, said: "It is still coming up but very, very slowly at the moment. They say it'll probably peak some time Thursday afternoon. If it comes up to five metres then it's only a couple of hundred millimetres short of the big flood of 2000.

"The National Flood Forum are managing the local group. We help them at the council when we can. As far as I'm aware they have been up to Stanley Lane getting sandbags. The council are here to help if they need us, but the people have been flooded out so often that they know exactly what to do.

"This is the fifth or sixth time. It is unbelievable. It used to happen every four or five years but it now happens every year.

"All you can do is help your neighbours. We have a good community down here so help each other, and Shropshire Council have been pretty good with their emergency reaction group."

Bridgnorth's river level is approaching record levels

He added: "The rugby club is completely flooded again and the marquee is underwater. South of Riverside is blocked off, and Riverside itself is blocked off."

However, he warned that some motorists were flouting the closed road signs.

Flooding in Bridgnorth on Wednesday morning. Photo: Mark Ward

"We had to laugh this morning when we saw a gaggle of geese around the sign that the road was closed due to flooding. It was as if they were reading it, which is more than the motorists have been doing.

"Temporary traffic lights are up in Friar Street. It is also flooded just past King Charles Way right up to Friars Field which is totally impassable so if people didn't get their cars out, they'll be stuck now.

"But at the moment it seems to have slowed down a bit - although it can take 24 to 48 hours for it to filter down from Wales, so it is a worrying time."

Flooding in Worfield, near Bridgnorth

Elsewhere, Shell Short from Bridgnorth, said her father and stepmother had to be evacuated from their Cottage near to the Ship Inn on the River Severn in Highley, after their home was flooded out.

She said: "They live in the cottages right on the river next to the Ship Inn so they have a room in the pub for a few nights until the water leaves their house."