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Gloucestershire weather: Freezing temperatures expected tonight making for hazardous driving conditions

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 05, 2014

Flooding at Westbury-on-Severn yesterday

Comments (0) Temperatures are expected to drop below zero tonight, making for hazardous driving conditions.The Met Office has predicted lows of -2 C in the county overnight, meaning wet roads could freeze.Gloucestershire County Council has confirmed gritters will be out tonight but their effectiveness will be limited due to the already wet conditions.Meanwhile, severe weather warnings have been removed in Gloucestershire, but more flooding could still be on the cards.Flood warnings remain in place today despite the Environment Agency removing the three severe warnings in the county.Residents near the River Severn are still bracing themselves as water levels are due to rise.Chris Bainger, from the Environment Agency, said: “There is localised heavy rain again today. We’re not out of the woods. I think we’ll see other barriers going up and other flood alerts upstream.“We do have concerns, that’s why there's flood warnings. We’ve just issued some more in Cheltenham. People need to heed those warnings.”Jason Humm, area manager for Gloucestershire Highways, said: "The last high tide was at about 11pm or midnight last night and we temporarliy closed the A48 and we closed the A417."The A48 will be closed now and again over the next couple of days, while the A417 is touch and go. They are the two main areas we are looking at."The tide is just creeping over the flood defences in Minsterworth."The ground is so saturated at the moment that any rain which does fall will not soak in, instead it will find its way onto the road network."He added: "Another thing to factor in is temperatures are expected to drop to -2 C or -3 C tonight and our gritters will be out and about, but they will be less effective than normal due to all the moisture."The Environment Agency is not anticipating water to rise as high as on Friday morning, but there is again the risk of the river bursting its banks and topping over flood defences.Severe warnings remain in place on the Severn Estuary near Westbury, Broadoak and Newnham and from Elmore to Rodley at the tidal Severn.Another is in place at Minsterworth and Quedgeley on the River Severn.The warning at Westbury states that tidal flood defences are likely to be topped with a high tide of 10.4 metres at around 9.30am.The public are advised to keep away from flood defences as strong winds and high water levels are expected, which may cause dangerous conditions.At Minsterworth, high tide is expected around 10.30am. Property at Weir Green, Minsterworth, Elmore and Longney could be affected by flooding. In addition, there are 24 Flood Warnings and 31 Flood Alerts are in force across Midlands, right down the River Severn, and also including the rivers Frome, Wye and Cam. The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings of rain for the first half of Saturday, and on Sunday up to 30mm of rain could fall, accompanied by high winds.County roads were left under water yesterday as the River Severn breached its banks and caused havoc.And today there is still some surface water around. The A48 between the Forest and Gloucester is relatively clear although there are some patches where drivers need to take care.The A417 is still closed from the Over Roundabout this morning.There is a large area covered in surface water at the entrance to Over Farm on the A40 so visitors are asked to take care.Many of today's sporting matches are being called off, including the Cheltenham Town v Chesterfield game with the football game between Bishop's Cleeve and Bridgewater also cancelled.Gloucester Rugby will still be taking on the Saracens this afternoon, despite the weather. Cinderford Town FC's match against Fleet Town is off today due to the ground being under six inches of water.Forest Green Rovers match against Salisbury City has also been called off.The Highways Agency said the M48 Severn Crossing has been re-opened in both directions to all vehicles.USEFUL WEATHER AND FLOODING LINKSEnvironment Agency flood warnings in place in GloucestershireLatest Gloucestershire weather forecast Glosprepared Met Office Gloucestershire County Council flooding advice Interactive flooding mapSevern Bore times

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