Warning against complacency have been issued to residents at risk of flooding in Longford and Longlevens as community fears begin to ease.
The worst of a week of storms may be over, but many fields surrounding Twigworth, Longford and Innsworth remain under water. No homes in Gloucester have been flooded.
Oh joy, Met Office have just extended tomorrow's rain warning into our patch. pic.twitter.com/0AS436A2gx
— Dave Throup (@DaveThroupEA) January 7, 2014
This week’s flooding has seen major roads including the A48 near Minsterworth and A417 at Maisemore shut off. The Severn Bore pub and other properties in Minsterworth were evacuated on Friday as a tidal surge swept up the River Severn. The road was reopened after a few hours, but several side roads off it remain badly affected. Most properties have escaped unscathed.
County council vice chairman Phil Awford is part of the Severn and Wye Coastal Committee and helped distribute 300 sandbags in Minsterworth on Thursday night.
He said: “We are not out of the woods yet. The risk will remain as the water will take some time to drain back into the rivers. We will be keeping a close eye on the weather as any heavy downpours could create serious problems.
“The Horsbere Brook has worked well, with homes in Cyprus Gardens and Greyhound Gardens staying dry. It is a worry for people when they see the brook rising, but they are beginning to see how it works.”
On Monday, precautionary warnings from the Environment Agency were issued to homes and businesses in Sandhurst and Maisemore. Many residents have been impressed at the effectiveness of flood defences that have faced their biggest test since opening in 2011.
Dave Bennett, who lives in Longlevens, said: “I have seen it a lot worse than this, but people living in Longford and Longlevens will always have one eye on water levels after what has happened here in the past. The fields at Plock Court are well full, but it is not on the carriageway and that is good news.”
The £1.5million Environment Agency flood alleviation scheme at Horsbere Brook has been hailed a huge success in reducing risk to 350 homes – so far.
The brook flows from the Whitcombe Reservoir through Hucclecote, Brockworth, Elmbridge, Longlevens and Longford in the east of Gloucester. It can store more than 150,000 cubic metres of water, and only fills when river flows increase and the flood risk rises.
Jim Porter, a city councillor for Longlevens, said: “I’m amazed at how well Horsbere Brook is coping with the amount of rainfall that we have had. There were real concerns, but it is bearing up well.
“There was less rain last year and the brook had a higher level. it shows the waterways management is working well. As far as I’m aware not a house in the city has flooded. There is a lot of water in the fields around Longford and Twigworth. If houses are built there it will be trouble as it will have a big impact on other houses further up along the brook.”
Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “The Environment Agency put a warning out for people in Longford as a precaution on Monday night, but thankfully it came to nothing.
“People can’t afford to be complacent as flooding can come from a variety of sources. Regular checks are being made on the rivers and brooks to ensure there are no obstructions in the water, and that will continue. Since the major scheme at the Horsbere Brook, people have been able to sleep more easily.”
Waterways remain at near capacity and flood alerts are still in place on the Wye, Lyd and Cinderford Brook. Elsewhere, the B4234 in Upper Lydbrook was closed after residents expressed fears about the wash from cars passing along the submerged road hitting their homes. It opened again on Monday.
In Lydney, debris was cleared from a stream in Lakeside Avenue after a culvert had become blocked, flooding five homes.
Heavy showers are set to return tonight but tomorrow should stay dry and bright. Light rainfall is predicted on Friday afternoon but Saturday should again be clear and dry.
The Environment Agency said river levels are likely to remain high and may rise again with more rain.
USEFUL WEATHER AND FLOODING LINKS