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Gloucestershire roads left under water as River Severn bursts its banks

By citizenmike  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

  • Flood defences at Longney struggle to cope with the water

  • The Quay in Gloucester

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Flood warnings are continuing into the night as high tides are expected again this evening and on Saturday morning.

Residents near the River Severn are bracing themselves as water levels are once again due to rise at around 10pm.

The Environment Agency is not anticipating water to rise as high as it did this morning, but there is again the risk of the river bursting its banks and topping over flood defences, as it did this morning.

Severe warnings remain in place on the Severn Estuary near Westbury, Broadoak and Newnham and from Elmore to Rodley at the tidal Severn.

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A final severe flood warning is in place at Minsterworth and Quedgeley on the River Severn.

It states: “This warning has been issued for the potential of tidal flooding due to the impact of strong winds on the high tide which could cause defences to be overtopped.

“At 7 pm today; the level at the Minsterworth Gauge was 3.21 metres. At this morning’s tide the peak was 6.15 metres. The next tide this evening is predicted to reach between 5.9 and 6.0 metres, the approximate time of which is 10:00 pm.

“At tomorrow morning’s high tide at approximately 10:30 am, a peak of between 6.0 and 6.1 metres is expected. Property at Weir Green, Minsterworth, Elmore and Longney could be affected by flooding due to the overtopping of the Tidal defences.

“The public are advised to keep away from flood defences as strong winds and high water levels are expected, which may cause dangerous conditions.

“A severe flood warning is in force due to the potential impact on isolated communities, access routes and the road network.”

A further 23 flood warnings remain in place across the Midlands, while 28 spots are on flood alert and 13 warnings are no longer in force.

County roads were left under water today as the River Severn breached its banks and caused havoc.

Major roads such as the A417 and A46 were plunged into chaos as a tidal surge send floodwater in all directions.

Emergency crews ordered people to stay away from the river, although some defied the ban and attempted to catch a glimpse of the Severn Bore.

The Met Office continues to have alerts in place for heavy rains and strong winds. More downpours are expected at around 6am on Saturday, with gusts of winds peaking at 26mph. They are anticipated again late on Sunday night with more strong winds reaching 36mph.

It is also anticipating temperatures of around -2 degrees in the county overnight on Saturday.

Gritters will be out, but are being warned to be extra careful in the icy conditions given the wet roads.

Highways teams will remain on standby over the weekend as surface water remains on the county’s roads.

Part of the A48 and the A417, as well as other minor roads in the county, closed on Friday as the River Severn burst its banks.

The roads are now open again to traffic, though temporary signals are currently in place on the A417 for the safety of drivers.

Some smaller lanes in the county remain impassable and drivers are urged to take extra care, with standing water still likely in other parts.

VIDEO: Amazing time-lapse video of Slimbridge Reserve at highest tide in memory

Trains from Cardiff to Cheltenham were suspended today amid the bad weather.

Arriva Trains Wales has cancelled its service because of the bad weather from the Welsh city to the spa town. Commuters were instead told to use the Cross Country services.

As the massive tide hurtled down the river, the Severn Bore Inn pub, at Minsterworth, was evacuated.

Mark Fox, landlord of the Severn Bore pub, said: “The Severn Bore hit 10 minutes earlier than we expected and after that the drama started to happen.

“The water didn’t quite come into the pub like it has done before. We were called by the Environment Agency the previous day warning us of the severe conditions so we pulled up all of the carpets, and put sand bags at the doors.

“Water got into our garden and into our cellar, but we have been quite lucky to be honest. The water did go into our neighbours’ homes so we have been lucky.

“We are keeping all the carpets up for now as we are expecting more flooding.”

Dennis Beale has lived next door to the Severn Bore pub for the past 26 years. He said: “This is the worst I have ever seen it.

“The water poured over the flood defences and in to our conservatory. I put boards up last night in the doorways to try and keep it out, and they did a decent job.

“We have got sand bags out as well ready for more bad weather. We are expecting it to flood again.”

The land surrounding Mr Beale’s home was largely all underwater today and he isexpecting more water tomorrow morning too when a similar tidal surge of around 10.4 metres is expected.

Gloucester, Maisemore and Sandhurst were next to be hit as the tide moved up river.

The Quay, near to the lock at Gloucester Docks, saw river levels reach the height of the pavement and water spilled over the banking.

Riverside footpaths around the Westgate Bridge area were submerged under water and flood plains were turned into giant lakes.

Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton headed out to survey the area. He said: “There is a lot of water around with more on its way. Thankfully the flood defences appear to be working.”

Gloucestershire Highways area manager Jason Humm said: “We’ve had a fair amount of rainfall on saturated ground so there is surface water and we would urge drivers to continue to take extra care.”

The bad weather came as firefighters in the Fire Brigade Union went on strike this morning – just as the worst conditions hit. Simon McMillan, area commander for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, admitted the timing was ‘unfortunate’.

Despite the heavy rains and rivers bursting its banks Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service received no call outs to flooding throughout Thursday night and Friday.

In contrast they received more than 70 calls for help because of flood water on Christmas Eve when the wet weather started.

Many of tomorrow’s sporting matches are being called off, with the football game between Bishop's Cleeve and Bridgewater already being cancelled.

The Cheltenham Town v Chesterfield game is also under threat with a pitch inspection expected in the morning.

Gloucester Rugby will still be taking on the Saracens tomorrow afternoon, despite the weather.

USEFUL WEATHER AND FLOODING LINKS

Environment Agency flood warnings in place in Gloucestershire

Latest Gloucestershire weather forecast

Glosprepared

Met Office

Gloucestershire County Council flooding advice

Interactive flooding map

Severn Bore times

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9 comments

  • GlosAnarchy  |  January 04 2014, 8:59AM

    Let's state the facts Owen Patterson and the Conservatives want to allow the cutting down of woodland to build housing, this will increase flooding. Owen Patterson and the Conservatives have increased spending on new flood defenses but are cutting maintenance on the current systems! Owen Patterson and the Conservatives seam to be climate change skeptics 'Climate change? People get very emotional about the subject. It's not all bad'

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  • billfoster  |  January 03 2014, 10:10PM

    Not sure about the barrage statement as the anti barrage people always said we would loose the bore. In this case that would be good wouldn't it.

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  • Lecorche  |  January 03 2014, 7:43PM

    I shudder to think of the mess there'd be if the Severn Barrage was there.

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  • billfoster  |  January 03 2014, 6:34PM

    The big cut was getting rid of the river authority, all those years ago and selling off the water companies and stopping dredging. The Severn is now not as deep as it used to be , by many meters, so it's bound to flood. They , the env agency, or the water companies, should spend some cash on dredging.

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  • YInsidetheEA  |  January 03 2014, 6:32PM

    Inside the Environment Agency Whistleblower Blog: http://tinyurl.com/o6y5w5r

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  • Kay_Powell  |  January 03 2014, 5:04PM

    Minchinhampton...Minsterworth... ;) Perhaps the writer was using predictive text.

    Rate   -19
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  • JemmyWood  |  January 03 2014, 5:03PM

    I'm sure I read sonewhere that the current Government made big cuts in the flood defence budget. Maybe Dick Graham would like to comment.

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  • dcfc79  |  January 03 2014, 4:36PM

    I thought they were meant to have improved the flood defenses since the major floods years ago, do they need to be improved even more then.

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  • John68585  |  January 03 2014, 4:21PM

    The Severn Bore at Minchinhampton???

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