7:44pm Thursday 6th February 2014
By Paul Broome
WATER levels on the River Severn in Worcester could beat those recorded in the notorious floods of 2007 and 2000 this weekend as bad weather continues, after high winds brought down a tree on a church today.
The Environment Agency has said the already swollen river could reach 5.40 metres on Sunday thanks to further intense rainfall yesterday evening, with more forecast tomorrow. Its peak level was 5.10m in 2000 and 5.30m in 2007.
The rain and strong winds locally also saw a large tree, thought to be hundreds of years old, topple over and land on a church.
The Environment Agency yesterday issued a flood warning for Pitchcroft, next to the already flooded Worcester Racecourse.
It was issued as further rain fell on a city gearing up for the latest storm which was set to batter the city last night.
The agency said river levels on the Severn were “rising slowly” and expected to peak Sunday.
The tree came down onto Salwarpe Church, near Droitwich, although the impact looks to be minimal.
“It has obviously done some damage but it has not caused the walls or roof to collapse,” said Andrew Kristy, a member of the congregation.
Upton-on-Severn bore the brunt of the wet weather yesterday, with both New Street and the Hanley Road closed due to flooding.
“At 12:30pm on Thursday the level at the Worcester gauge was 4.59 metres and rising slowly,” said an Environment Agency spokesman.
“A peak level of between 5.00 and 5.40 metres is expected on Sunday.
“River levels are expected to remain elevated due to further forecast rainfall.”
In Worcester, Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s New Road ground remains under water, just over six weeks before the county’s first friendly of the season.
Meanwhile, Worcestershire County Council is reminding residents and motorists to use caution when out and about and to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
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