How long could flooding disruption continue across the Midlands?

Credit: PA

Water levels have peaked on the River Severn in Bewdley in Worcestershire, with cleanup efforts continuing today.

Fire crews have been carrying out welfare checks in boats in the area, after dozens of homes had to be evacuated when the river burst its banks on Thursday.

Rescue boats were deployed overnight after temporary flood barriers breached.

A major incident had already been declared in parts of Worcestershire as well as in Shropshire, with a threat to life warning issued. 

The Environment Agency says it is the fourth time that floods of over five metres high have hit Bewdley in two years.

It is warning river levels will remain high for the next day or so as Shropshire's Bridgenorth is still submerged, whilst many parts of the county are also still affected by flooding.

Footage shows water levels along the River Severn peaking, affecting nearby communities.

Dozens of homes have also been forced to evacuate due to the rising water levels from heavy rainfall amid Storms DudleyEunice and Franklin - which left 1.4 million households without electricity.

Severe flood warnings, including a "threat to life", remain in place for Bewdley in Worcestershire.

Rescue boats were deployed overnight in Bewdley after the town’s temporary flood barriers breached.

Residents on the edge of the flood waters still battling to keep their homes dry, as the river level continues to rise.

What's the latest with flooding in the Midlands?

The Environment Agency is urging communities along the River Severn to be prepared for significant flooding as the impact of Storm Franklin continues to cause high river levels.

Two severe flood warnings, meaning there is a danger to life, remain in place for the River Severn at the Wharfage in Ironbridge and in Wribbenhall, Bewdley where some residents were evacuated.

Unprecedented weather, during which three storms were named by the Met Office, has led to river levels coming close to beating historic highs, including at the Upper Severn and River Mersey in Didsbury.

According to the Environment Agency flood defences have protected more than 40,000 properties from flooding across the country.

Credit: PA images

What are the Environment Agency urging people to do?

Environment Agency Area Duty Manager for Worcestershire, Gary Bywater, said they are urging everyone to "take extreme care".   He said: "We are facing a significant flood risk at Beales Corner in Bewdley and urging people to remain vigilant and take extreme care.

"Heavy rain, affecting already wet areas, is likely to cause significant river flooding along the River Severn for several days.  

"We have teams out on the ground taking preventative action and we are working with other agencies to support people who need to evacuate their homes.   "We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car." The Environment Agency has been working with local authorities over the past year to ensure that excellent resilient measures are in place to make should the flood barriers are fully operational including re-surfacing the road and maintaining the drains.  

Signing up for flood alerts are still being cited as one of the best ways to keep up with the changing situation.

How could disruption be prevented in the future?

Boris Johnson visited Bewdley back in 2020, pledging to "get Bewdley done", and saying money would be provided to help future flooding.

The MP for Wyre Forest, Mark Garnier says permanent flood defences have been promised for Bewdley.

He says they would protect around 30 homes, costing around £6.1m.

What else have the government said?

In a statement earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told ITV Central: "We are investing a record £5.2 billion to build 2,000 new flood defences over the next six years.

"This investment will better protect 336,000 properties from flooding and coastal erosion and means that every English region is receiving more investment in flood and coastal defences in the current investment programme.

"Funding is distributed across the country wherever the risk is greatest, and the benefits are highest.

"The number of communities and properties at risk of flooding, the opportunities for delivering schemes and the type of project are all factors used to decide how investment should be distributed."

How long could flood disruption continue for?

It's unclear how like people living near the River Severn may be affected for, but with cleanup efforts continuing, it is hoped residents could soon return to their homes.

But it's still clear the damage will still be felt for some time.

What other help and support is available if you've been impacted by adverse weather?

As well as keeping up-to-date with the Environment Agency's website - and check for flooding - you can also sign up for alerts and follow developments.

The National Flood Forum is a charity to help, support and represented people at risk of flooding.