4.20pm UPDATE: People are being asked to avoid flooded roads and be prepared for traffic delays during peak times.
Some of the county’s main commuter routes along the path of the river remain under water today and are likely to stay closed for some time.
The latest information from the Environment Agency is that it’s likely to take several days at least for the water to drain away.
The Environment Agency reported tonight that at 4:30 pm today the level at the Gloucester Gauge was 4.3 metres and steady.
A peak level of between 4.3 and 4.4 metres is expected to occur tomorrow morning.
This means the roads, including the A417 at Maisemore and the B4213 Hawbridge, are likely to remain closed for several days.
Routes around the centre of Gloucester are also likely to be affected this evening as the River Severn continues to swell.
There’s still a lot of standing water on routes all around the county and there are a number of minor roads inaccessible.
Gloucestershire Highways is signposting closures on main commuter routes and diversions are in place.
However, traffic delays during rush hour tonight and again in the morning are likely, particularly in Gloucester city centre and the north west of the county.
Drivers are being urged to avoid known flooded routes, to allow extra time for their journeys and to avoid travelling in peak periods if possible.
Gloucestershire County Council has asked the Highways Agency to stop planned night working on the M50 so the motorway will now remain open to help alleviate the situation overnight.
Jason Humm, Area Highway Manager, said: “Unfortunately, until the flood water subsides the roads will remain closed and in some cases this may be several days.
“We would encourage drivers to think about their journeys before setting off and to please avoid known flooded areas if at all possible.
“We are putting out clear diversions where the main routes are shut and I would urge people to follow them and not try to drive through the flood water.
“The main area of concern this evening is the centre of Gloucester as the Severn peaks and our teams are on standby to react if needed.”
The weather forecast is looking brighter for the rest of the week and no more significant rain is currently forecast.
However, the River Severn is yet to peak in Gloucester so further localised flooding is still possible.
In Tewkesbury, the river peaked early this morning at around 4.8metres – a metre less than the 2007 peak.
There is localised flooding in the centre of Tewkesbury as a result but the A38 Ashchurch Road near Morrisons supermarket is the only main route closure, although many minor roads are affected.
Firefighters have responded to 32 incidents in the last 24 hours and rescued nine people from flood affected areas.
They have launched their hovercraft at Sandhurst to get to residents.
Flood defences are holding up at the Walham electricity station in Gloucester.
Flood victim Zog Ziegler is “toughing it out” after having a foot of water enter his home.
The motoring journalist lives north of Haw Bridge, near Tewkesbury, in an area that has flooded after the River Severn burst its banks.
He said: “It’s not up to the levels of 2007. We had about 5ft of water in the house then and this time it’s about a foot.
“We’ve got electricity and because we’re in a three-storey house, we’re two storeys above the flood.
“But it’s pretty miserable. We can’t get out. The lane is too deep, even if you had waders on.
“We’re toughing it out for now. Rescue services have to deal with other people, rather than us.”
In Tewkesbury town centre, Abbey Terrace resident John Badham was anxiously watching the flood level by his home.
He said: “We’re dry, just about, but by the skin of our teeth.”
He added that most people in the terrace had tiled floors and had moved furniture upstairs.
“If it does flood here, I don’t think it will be a huge problem,” he said.
ROADS 12.30pm UPDATE:
A438 Ashchurch rd, Tewkesbury - Flooded o/s Morrisons. Also Flooded o/s Boys Brigade. Both passable with care.
Barton Rd, Tewkesbury Flooded Closed
Bredon Rd, Tewkesbury Flooded by "White Bear" PH. Closed
sandhurst lane flooded - Closed
A417 Maisemore flooded. Closed.
Murrells End flooded. Impassable.
Wainlodes Lane flooded. Closed.
Swillgate flooded. Closed.
Abbey Car Park flooded. Closed.
Back of Avon flooded. Closed
Base lane sandhurst flooded. Closed.
B4213 Tirley flooded. Impassable.
Fetter Hill, Coleford. Road surface water / debris. Passable with care.
B4215 High Leadon. Flooded. Passable with care.
Lydbrook - B4234. Flooded. Closed.
Popes Hill. Flooded. Closed.
Redmarley to Pauntley. Flooded. Closed.
B4215 to Much Marcle. Heavily flooded. Closed.
Blakeney to Soudley. Flooded - road over bridge. Passable with care.
B4234 - Cannop Ponds. Closed.
All unclassified roads around Hartbury College. Flooded. Closed.
A40 Huntley – Four way traffic lights in operation.
Toadsmoor lane Chalford - road flooded. Closed.
A417 - Lechlade (outside garden centre) Passable with care.
South Cerney Rd to Siddington Flooded. Closed.
South Cerney Rd to Ashton Keynes Flooded. Closed.
Spitalgate Lane, Cirencester Flooded. Closed.
London Rd, Wotton-under-Edge Flooded. Closed.
A419 Preston Tollbar to Tesco's rab, Cirencester Flooded. Closed.
The Street, Daglingworth – Unclas Passable with care.
A419 n/bound exit at Driffield Flooded. Closed.
Kempsford to Cricklade. Some water on road. Passable
Dollar St, Cirencester Flooded. Closed.
In Tewkesbury Bredon Road is still sealed off outside the White Bear and Ashchurch Road is closed the town side of the traffic lights by Morrisons.
Traffic is able to pass through floodwater on the Newtown side of the lights.
Motorists are able to get into the town via the M50 and then A38 at Twyning and also via the A38 at Stonehills. Flood levels are expected to peak this morning in the town, where it has been raining persistently.
New Start Cat Rescue in Malswick, Newent, has had to move all its animals to safety after flood waters rushed into their pens. The charity is urgently appealing for donations of bedding and other supplies after losing two years' worth of goods they had collected.
Anyone who can help should call 07510 134805 or 07598 752992.
Stroud District Council, has handed out more than 2,000 sand bags to protect homes in the area, as neighbourhood watch wardens visited homes at risk to help out, as floods caused road closures at the Moreton Valence section of the A38 and the Ebley Bypass.
For Environment Agency flood warnings Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 0524124 to get more information
Traffic information can be found on the Highways Agency website: http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/
In Gloucester , city council officers and staff from Enterprise have been making regular inspections of streams and water courses around the city.
And as the weather worsened more than 1,000 sandbags were provided on a ‘targetted’ basis to properties assessed to be at risk from potential flooding.
City Council Chief Executive, Julian Wain, commented: “I am very pleased and proud of the work done by our staff and crews from Enterprise over the past several days.
“They have inspected a great number of streams and watercourses. They have cleared rubbish brought down by the high winds to keep water flowing and have provided sandbags and reassurance to residents across the city.
“Although it hasn’t been necessary to open it our emergency rest centre remains on standby in case it is needed.
“We will continue to liaise closely with our partner agencies and the emergency services as we always do in situations such as this. And residents can be assured that we will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation in the days to come.”
There have been no reports of any properties flooded in the City so far.
But, with the River Severn due to peak tomorrow morning staff will be working closely with the Environment Agency and other partners and will continue to issue sandbags to properties identified as being at risk.
The Environment Agency has confirmed that the majority of floodwaters in Cotswold district have gradually receded owing to relatively drier conditions.
CDC staff are now distributing Health Protection Agency leaflets around households in Cirencester which have been affected by floodwater.
The leaflets provide advice about cleaning up after floods and the health issues to be aware of in the wake of flooding events.
Working with Bromford Housing, a CDC Emergency Coordination team has also responded to concerns about elderly people in Chipping Campden and Willersey, ensuring that they are safe and well. The team has also worked with councillors in Bourton, Cirencester and Moreton-in-Marsh to address concerns raised by residents, and has been alerted to flooding in South Cerney and Daglingworth.
The Coordination team is continuing to monitor the situation and is encouraging residents to call suppliers directly to request sandbags – see www.cotswold.gov.uk for contact details. For other flooding problems, they are advising residents to call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.
The Council’s waste collector, Ubico Ltd, is operating normally today and envisages no problems during the week. Ubico is providing a free removal service for flood-damaged goods – please call 01285 623000 to request a pick-up.
The Abbey Grounds car park in Cirencester is now accessible with care but permit holders can use the Waterloo Car Park until the water subsides.
The Highways Agency have confirmed that they have removed bollards which normally block Gooseacre Lane in Cirencester, providing temporary access to Gloucester Street to improve pedestrian vehicular safety.
Councillors in flood-affected areas have continued to work hard to help alleviate problems. Cllr Joe Harris, Ward Member for Cirencester Park and Deputy Mayor of Cirencester, was one of a number of volunteers in Cirencester who have been working with residents to stem the flow of water to properties. He commented:
“I am very grateful to everyone who pitched in to help in this hour of need. Teams from both the town and district councils were working since Sunday to mitigate the effects of the flooding, especially around the Abbey Grounds area. “
His views were echoed by Cllr John Burgess, the Ward Member for Cirencester Beeches and Cabinet lead for Support Services:
“It is very unfortunate that flooding occurred and sandbags need to be deployed in the district, but it is heartening to see how quickly everyone pulled together to lessen the effects of this abnormal weather. Thankfully, most motorists seem to be heeding warnings from the police.”
Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown issued the following statement:
"Just about the worst thing that could happen to someone’s home is that it is flooded. I was able to witness firsthand wonderful caring work of the fire brigade on Sunday night in Daglingworth Village. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to anybody whose home has recently been flooded.
"If anyone has not been in touch with the relevant authority please would they get in touch with me, and I will try to be of assistance.
"Although a significant amount of work has been carried out in the Cotswolds by the relevant authorities since the 2007 floods; I am conscious that there is more to be done and I will redouble my efforts in any community who have been affected this time.
"Ever since the 2007 floods Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has been in regular contact with communities who have flooding problems. He has also help open meetings at which all the relevant authorities have been represented in Moreton, Fairford and Lechlade."