Severe flood warnings - meaning that floods could cause deaths - have been issued for three areas in Gloucestershire.
The upgraded severe warnings have been issued for:
The River Severn at Minsterworth and Quedgeley
Westbury Broadoak and Newnham on the Severn Estuary
The tidal River Severn from Elmore to Rodley.
The Environment Agency has also issued flood warnings for Gloucester city and Hempsted.
Flood alerts have been upgraded to flood warnings along the River Severn, while the River Wye is already beginning to encroach on waterside properties at Symonds Yat.
The first Severn Bore tidal waves of the new year this morning did little to help matters, swelling the Severn and swallowing up several neighbouring fields.
The A417 was flooded at Mercia Road in Gloucester and the same road was hit up towards Maisemore.
Despite yesterday being dry and bright today, the threat of flooding is now at its highest since rivers and waterways first approached capacity over Christmas.
And with three more days of solid heavy rain predicted - beginning tonight - some are fearing the worst.
More rain, already swollen flood plains, high tides and yet more water coming down the river from Wales mean a ‘perfect storm’ could form in Gloucestershire.
Due the weather conditions and a high tide tomorrow morning, a tidal surge is expected between 0800 and 1000 tomorrow morning.
The Environment Agency is sending out flood warnings to those living in affected areas and is advising people to stay vigilant.
Environment Agency Manager, Dave Throup is asking people to take the usual precautions.
“Our advice to people living in areas at risk of flooding is to move important documents, personal items and valuables upstairs or to high shelves. Wherever possible, raise large items of furniture and move any outdoor belongings or cars to higher ground.”
Simon McMillan from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service is also asking people to avoid the banks of the River Severn tomorrow morning.
“We’re asking those who were planning to watch the Severn Bore go through tomorrow morning, to avoid the area completely. The situation could change very fast and there is a real possibility you may get caught out.”
— Mark Hughes (@uzi1964) January 2, 2014
Stroud District Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucester City Council and Forest of Dean District Councils are all making the necessary preparations. These include putting rest centres on standby and working with vulnerable people in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Gary Thompson from Gloucestershire Constabulary is asking all drivers to take care.
“The situation could change rapidly in the morning and we’re asking all drivers to avoid the roads close to the River Severn wherever possible. If the roads do flood, please avoid driving through the standing water as it maybe hiding debris or loose manhole covers.”
Firefighters in England and Wales are due to strike again tomorrow morning between 6.30am and 8.30am in a row over pension rights.
The Fire Brigades Union says it is currently monitoring reports from the Environment Agency about the threat of flooding in Gloucestershire and other areas of the South West and discussions are also under way with fire and rescue service managers.
Agreements have been reached which allow striking firefighters to be recalled to duty on a voluntary basis in the event of certain major incidents, normally including serious risk to public safety.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “These agreements are designed for very specific circumstances and rely on the goodwill of firefighters. They should therefore not be abused.
“We will monitor the situation closely and liaise with the management of the fire and rescue services involved.
“In the event that the situation develops as predicted then we will respond in line with our major incident agreement."
Flood warnings are currently in place for:
River Severn at Gloucester
River Severn at Hempsted
River Severn at Ashleworth
River Severn at Chaceley and Haw Bridge
River Severn at Abbots Court, Deerhurst
Epney on the Severn Estuary
River Severn at Sandhurst and Maisemore
River Severn at Severn Ham and Tewkesbury
Framilode and Priding on the Severn Estuary
Purton on the Severn Estuary
Slimbridge on the Severn Estuary
Westbury, Broadoak and Newnham on the Severn Estuary
River Severn at Minsterworth and Quedgeley
Sharpness and Lydney Harbour on the Severn Estuary
Tidal Severn from Elmore to Rodley
Arlingham on the Severn Estuary
River Severn at Court Meadow, Kempsey and Callow End
River Severn at Apperley and The Leigh
River Wye from Hereford to Ross-on-Wye
River Wye from Hay to Hereford
Wye Estuary at Brockweir
Wye Estuary at Elmdale, Chepstow
USEFUL WEATHER AND FLOODING LINKS
Useful Twitter leads
This morning's high tide at Minsterworth. Tomorrow's will be up to 1.5m higher pic.twitter.com/Ch5js4bz4e
— Dave Throup (@DaveThroupEA) January 2, 2014
— John Curtin (@johncurtinEA) January 2, 2014