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Gloucestershire live flooding and weather update: River Severn levels expected to peak

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

A John Lewis van stranded in Sandhurst

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Yet more heavy rain is expected to fall in Gloucestershire as River Severn levels are expected to peak today.

Forecasters at the Met Office are expecting downpours throughout Wednesday morning and afternoon, causing more misery for flood-hit residents.

The wet weather is set to be accompanied by high winds with gusts of more than 50mph.

Gloucester Road, in Tewkesbury, has been closed due to flooding and a dangerous tree at Abbey Terrace has been reported. Police are diverting traffic.

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Emergency food parcels have been taken to people living at Haw Bridge, Tirley and in Tewkesbury who have had their homes affected by the high water levels.

Sandhurst is badly affected by flooding and the Environment Agency is also monitoring the River Wye.

Lydbrook in the Forest of Dean has also been hit by flooding and the A417 remains closed.

People have been warned to expect travel disruption with motorists warned about dangerous driving conditions and train services experiencing delays.

With the forecast for this evening and overnight for high winds, rain, hail and sleet, Gloucestershire Highways is reassuring people that it is prepared to deal with any problems caused by further bad weather.

Brian Watkins, local highways manager, said: “We will be out gritting tonight before ice builds up. We are prepared for the weather and will have sufficient crews on standby to deal with things like fallen trees. However, because of the hail and sleet, driving conditions will be poor tonight and we would advise people to drive with particular care and attention. Where roads are closed due to flooding, we would ask drivers not to attempt to drive through floodwater.”

A number of road closures remain in place around the county due to the high water levels.

Gloucestershire Highways is continuing to monitor the A438 at Morrisons in Tewkesbury and B4080 Bredon Road in Tewkesbury closely. The roads are currently passable with care.

The A46 remains open using temporary traffic lights while Gloucestershire Highways monitors the safety of the road. The recent wet weather has caused land on Cooper’s Hill to become unstable near to the Green Street junction.

Temporary traffic lights were installed on Monday to keep traffic to the north side of the road while Gloucestershire Highways carries out investigations on the condition of the drainage. The lights will remain in place each day while monitoring continues.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood, said: “We’re monitoring the situation on Cooper’s Hill four times each day to establish whether there’s ongoing movement and if it’s slowing down or accelerating. Our main priority is to keep residents and commuters safe, so it may become necessary to close the road. Obviously we would only take this action if absolutely necessary.”

For enquiries call Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514 514.

Met Office Amber warning for wind today:

A vigorous area of low pressure is expected to move northeastwards across northern parts of the UK later on Wednesday, clearing eastwards early on Thursday. This is likely to be accompanied by a swathe of southwesterly gales across many areas which may be severe in places. Winds will veer more westerly later on Wednesday.

A first peak in the winds is likely over southern and southwest England around the middle of Wednesday but with the main swathe of even stronger and potentially damaging winds crossing parts of Wales then northern England later in the day.

The public should be prepared for the the risk of disruption to transport and possibly also power supplies. In addition, large waves are likely to affect some coasts.

This warning should be viewed in the broader context of the Yellow Wind warning.

The warning has been updated to slightly broaden the amber area, now including more of southern England, South Wales, and also into more of northwest England. Gust speeds have also been increased a little.

Met Office yellow warning for rain on Friday

After a brighter interlude on Thursday, with some wintry showers, further spells of persistent and heavy rain are expected to spread northeastwards during Friday afternoon and evening, affecting many parts of England and Wales. The rain will clear away to the east during Saturday morning. Following repeated heavy rainfall events earlier in the week, the public should be aware of the potential for further flooding in places.

The Highways Agency is urging road users to take care.

Road users are advised to plan their journeys before setting out, check weather conditions, leave extra time for their journeys if travel conditions are poor, and delay their journey if the weather becomes severe.

Traffic Management Director Simon Sheldon-Wilson said:

“We are constantly monitoring the potential impact of weather on our network and are keeping a close eye on the current situation.

“Where flooding has caused problems, we have responded quickly to ensure the safety of road users and to re-open lanes and roads as quickly as possible.”

The Met Office is a forecasting a vigorous storm bringing spells of heavy rain across the country through Wednesday afternoon and evening, bringing 15 to 25mm of additional rainfall in areas already saturated. A first peak in the winds is likely over the South West of England around the middle of Wednesday but with the main swathe of even stronger and potentially damaging winds crossing parts of northern England later in the day.

Around lunchtime, the M48 Severn Bridge will be exposed to gusts around 45 to 55mph and possibly up to 65 to 70mph for the M4 Second Crossing.

Gloucestershire Police are urging the public to take care around flooded areas.

Heavy rain and strong winds are predicted on Wednesday and Friday with the already saturated ground expected to get another soaking.

Superintendent Bridget Woodhall said “The sustained heavy rain and strong winds will continue to take its toll on affected areas this week and into next.

“Many major trunk roads across the county could potentially be affected, causing disruption to road users and putting further pressure on the County’s road network.

“We will work along with the other emergency services and other agencies to check on resident’s welfare and ensure that business is as usual as it can be under the circumstances in Gloucestershire”

Inspector Owen Hughes of Tewkesbury Local Policing Area urged residents to check on vulnerable neighbours who may be affected by the weather. He said “The weather that we have been subjected to recently is testing for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for vulnerable members of society.

“We know that there is a real community spirit across this County, but it is really important that residents look out for their neighbours. We’d encourage you to knock on your neighbour’s door to check that they are safe and that have everything they need. That simple gesture could make a real difference.”

The following advice will help keep residents safe during the adverse weather:

With any kind of intense weather, travelling can be a challenge. There are still potential problems so please plan carefully and drive with caution.

Ask yourself if your journey is essential or could it be rearranged for when conditions improve.

If you are out and about and spot any tree debris or flooding on the roads, these can be reported online or by calling 08000 514 514.

Should you encounter anything like a fallen telephone cable or power line across a road, please do not attempt to cross it, keep a safe distance and notify the police by calling 101 or e-mail 101@gloucestershire.police.uk.

Downed power lines can also be reported to Western Distribution on 0800 3281111.

Drive with consideration and avoid driving through flooded water as it could cause additional flooding or damage to your vehicle


Environment Agency flood warnings in place in Gloucestershire

Latest Gloucestershire weather forecast


Met Office

Gloucestershire County Council flooding advice

Interactive flooding map

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  • AmberP789  |  February 13 2014, 5:33PM

    Your cell phone can protect you and your family when you download this good safety application that will allow you to be connected directly to the nearest 911, hospital and ambulance as soonest whenever you are involved in trouble. You can also get help from different members of your family all in one call. You may visit this site for more information http://tinyurl.com/9s3ytqd null

  • Snappy_Happer  |  February 13 2014, 8:05AM

    It's amazing the things that will float, given the opportunity. Inventive types could create alternative forms of transport (inflatable pontoons for cars?)

    |   -4
  • jas37  |  February 12 2014, 10:51PM

    Any new housing development at Longford would surely include flood alleviation measures that would in fact reduce the possibility of flooding in the area - similar to the 700 home development at Copeland park and Kingsway. (3300 homes)

    |   -2
  • GlosAnarchy  |  February 12 2014, 5:58PM

    Why oh why do so many people bang on about dredging as the cure for flooding? Think back to the cause of the "silt" in the river and where it comes from, it's soil erosion and in the main comes from agricultural land so maybe the farmers aught to stop their soil erosion. Fast flowing water will carry the silt in suspension out to sea, slower moving water in a dredged river will deposit silt until the speed of the water increased to the point where the silt is again kept in suspension. Part of the problem around Gloucester is that at the parting the flow is encouraged by physics to flow down the smaller east channel. What is needed is the replacement of the 1956 bridge at Maismore and the alteration of the bifurcation of the river to encourage more of the flow into the western channel of the river, this will decrease the imbalance in levels between the channels and reducing the flow of water across the A417 and reduce flooding on the east of the river bellow the parting!

    |   2
  • SandraPee  |  February 12 2014, 11:52AM

    The John Lewis van is in fact floating , and no longer on the road itself , as the water is much higher where it's shown .

    |   5
  • SandraPee  |  February 12 2014, 9:18AM

    Well done Dave from Ronson's for those video's . That section of road has been underwater most of the time since xmas , with Ronson's business at a standstill and neighbouring homes underwater . My friend lives in the cottage on the fork in the road in the last clip and is once again is isolated . Meanwhile across the fields in Longford they are already starting work on getting the access road into an estate of 580 new houses which will be built on the floodplain .......... currently under water ! How crazy is that ?! The displaced water will need to go somewhere.......... ! The river needs to be dredged , brooks, ditches , culverts and drains need regular maintaining and a serious look at what can be done to help those who are regularly being underwater. One does query whether Tewkesbury and Gloucester are experiencing more flooding because of flood defences further up the river . If, as the PM says , ''money is no object'' then give adequate amounts to do what is necessary to install flood defences for our parts of the Severn . Somehow I think he might regret making that statement !

    |   14
  • nickthompson  |  February 12 2014, 8:24AM

    Suggest we all keep an eye on what GCC are up to .---------------------------------------------- Areas in Surrey left flooded after the River Thames burst its banks will lose fire stations and up to 40 rescue workers, after Surrey County Council's cabinet approved plans to close two stations. Sunbury, and Staines, roll on 2015 when this madness will come to an end.